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Seniors faced more economic, healthcare disruptions in U.S. than other wealthy nations during COVID

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Findings from a new survey highlight differences between the effectiveness of Medicare and the universal healthcare services adopted by other wealthy nations, Commonwealth Fund leadership said. (Lopolo/Shutterstock) U.S. seniors more often reported economic insecurity and disruptions in their regular care due to the COVID-19 pandemic compared to older adults living in 10 other high-income countries.

“The chronic lack of economic security facing U.S. seniors, especially those who are Black or Hispanic, is exacerbating the pandemic toll,” David Blumenthal, M.D., president of The Commonwealth Fund, said during a media teleconference. “Our leaders can do more to address these disparities and ensure affordable, quality healthcare is within reach for all Americans during COVID-19 and beyond.”

The findings from the fund’s new international survey—which also included insights on caregiving services and COVID-19 vaccine perspectives—highlight differences between the effectiveness of Medicare and the universal healthcare services adopted by other wealthy nations, Commonwealth Fund leadership said.

“Medicare is a critical lifeline for older people in our country, whose health needs tend to increase as they age. But the program has flaws,” Blumenthal said. “Medicare plans have significant gaps that leave beneficiaries vulnerable to sizeable out-of-pocket expenses, which is why seniors who can afford it will buy supplemental […]

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