Boomers Make Most of Medicare

| November 7, 2015 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post
Grandparents Making Most of Medicare

Grandparents Making Most of Medicare

Grandparents Health Habits Survey

By Susan Kosman, DNP, MS, RN, Chief Nursing Officer for Aetna

It’s the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period, an important time to reflect on your health needs and plan for the next year. Medicare Open enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, is when you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Prescription Drug plan, such as switching plans or adding on prescription drug coverage. It’s also a great opportunity to take stock of your current health needs, how they may have changed over the last year, and decide if you need to make adjustments to get the most out of your plan.

For the second year in a row, Aetna teamed up with ahead of the Medicare Open Enrollment period to survey more than 5,500 members on their health habits and perceptions. Through the survey, we learned what you already know: today’s boomers are not your stereotypical grandparents.

The survey showed that today’s grandparents are on the go. Fewer than half of those surveyed are retired permanently (49.2 percent), and other boomers stay busy with either a part-time or full-time job, consultant work or a second career.

How Grandkids Make You Feel

While grandparents today may defy many people’s traditional idea of grandparents, that doesn’t mean they aren’t staying close to their families. Almost one in five of those surveyed resides with his or her children or other family members full- or part-time. These close ties mean grandparents get what they love most – time with grandchildren. More than a quarter said a visit from their grandkids gives them the biggest mood boost.

Today’s grandparents are also tech savvy. Almost half use mobile devices to search online about health. Still, they value in-person interactions with their doctors even more. The majority (57.1 percent) say they would turn to their doctor first when faced with a new health condition rather than look online.

Time To Thrive

Many boomers thrive during this period of life and believe being a grandparent helps keep them young. I think the nearly half (46.1 percent) of boomers surveyed who say being a grandparent gives them the best of both worlds likely agree. However, even if you feel healthy today, it is still important to take time to make sure you’re taking steps to protect your good health, which can sometimes get complicated.

What To Ask Yourself

This Medicare Open Enrollment period, ask yourself these questions to help decide if you need to make changes to get the most out of your health care coverage for the coming year:

  • What current plan benefits have you used/not used in the past year?
  • What changes have there been to the health conditions you will need to manage in the year ahead? What does your current plan cover?
  • What regular medications do you need? Will the costs change if you switch plans? Do you need more coverage for any new medications?
  • Do you have relationships with current providers that you would like to maintain? Will you be able to do this on a new health plan?
  • Are there other features different plans may offer that interest you?
  • Does your current health care plan or the health care plans you are considering offer the preventive services you want or discounts on exercise equipment or classes?

Use the following tips to make achieving good health more manageable all year long:

  • Keep a notebook to record questions for your doctor and her recommendations. Staying organized works wonders in navigating the complex process of tracking health advice and regimens.
  • Make your health, including care preferences, a topic for family discussion before an urgent situation arises. The grandparents surveyed do just that, with 72.4 percent who say their families would know their preferences for care if they faced a serious health concern, and nearly half who talked with children or grandchildren about family health history in the past six months.
  • Be proactive with your health by staying active and keeping a positive attitude. Almost an equal number of respondents thought that staying active (39 percent) and maintaining a positive attitude (39.7 percent) were the most important factors in keeping healthy.

During this Medicare Open Enrollment period, do everything you can to make this special time of your life the best it can be. Visit to learn more.

Susan Kosman Headshot

Susan Kosman

About the Author

Susan Kosman, DNP, MS, RN is the Chief Nursing Officer for Aetna, Inc. She is responsible for Aetna’s nursing strategy, care management program design and custom care operations. Prior to joining Aetna, Susan spent 10 years in the home health industry in various roles.




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