people who took part in a recent AARP survey.
The telephone survey, conducted in November by Woelfel Research, included
1,001 U.S. adults age 45 and older. All but 10% of them have health insurance,
either from their employer, their spouse's employer, private insurance, or Medicare .
One survey question was, "How confident are you that you will be able to
afford medical care next year?"
Most people -- 81% -- said they were at least somewhat confident. That
leaves the remaining 19% unsure that they will be able to foot their health
care bills in 2009. Here are the details:
- Extremely confident: 26%
- Very confident: 33%
- Somewhat confident: 22%
- Not very confident: 9%
- Not at all confident: 10%
People age 65 and older (and thus eligible for Medicare) were especially
confident that they'll be able to afford health care next year. People earning
less than $30,000 per year were least confident about being able to
pay for healthcare .
Likewise, when asked specifically about affording prescription drug costs
next year, most people -- 83% -- were at least somewhat confident. But 9% were
not very confident and 8% were not at all confident that they could afford
their prescription drugs . Most participants reported spending up to $200
per month for up to six prescription drugs in 2008.
Survey participants were also asked what they had done to try to contain
their health care costs.
- 58% said that when a doctor prescribes a new drug, they always ask if
there's a generic equivalent.
- 62% said they always pick the generic version, if one is available.
- 49% said they've asked their doctor if there are things they can do (such
physical activity and
diet change) to lower their number of medications.
- 77% said they've never been prescribed a brand-name drug that they couldn't
- 85% said they hadn't cut back on medications in the past year because of
The survey has a margin of error of three percentage points.
By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang
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