Harvard Health Letter

Surviving the Medicare maze

Medicare, once the post-retirement panacea, is now just the starting point for seniors' health care coverage.

Aging holds many sobering surprises, and some don't even involve mirrors. Not least of the latter is the process of getting health care coverage after retirement.

Men and women accustomed to employer-sponsored health insurance are often ill prepared for the labyrinth of post-retirement insurance choices, according to a survey of Americans born between 1946 and 1964. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that two-thirds of respondents to their nationwide poll were unfamiliar with most aspects of Medicare, and four in five had doubts that it would even be around for them.

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