2011-10-28 / Community

Poll Shows Seniors Taking Dangerous Measures

A new poll of New Yorkers aged 50-64 released today finds that many are taking dangerous measures to afford their health care for themselves and their families. The poll asked questions regarding concerns around health insurance coverage, policies and affordability.

“These poll results offered some disturbing actions that New York’s 50-64 population take in affording their health care,” stated Lois Wagh Aronstein, AARP New York State Director. “With over a third of AARP members in this age group it is clearly unacceptable for them or any other New Yorker to delay getting medical attention or filling a prescription because of the high cost of health care. We need to improve access to affordable insurance.”

The poll results of those New Yorkers 50-64 interviewed include the following:

In the past two years, they or a family member, have taken the following measures to afford health care expenses: 33 percent have scheduled fewer routine check-ups with a doctor; 30 percent delayed seeing a doctor or nurse when not feeling well; 26 percent say they cut back on items like food, fuel or utilities; 20 percent say they took less medication than prescribed and 22 percent delayed getting a prescription filled; 17 percent delayed physical or mental health treatments; 22 percent indicated that during the past two years there was a time when they or their spouse or partner or dependent children did not have any health insurance coverage; 79 percent are concerned they won’t be able to maintain their current health care coverage over the next five years; 69 percent indicated it should be a top or high priority for the State Senate to pass Health Benefit Exchange legislation when they return to Albany.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Senate and the Assembly last June negotiated a bill that would establish a New York Health Benefit Exchange that would serve as a marketplace for the purchase and sale of potentially more affordable health care insurance. The bill passed the Assembly with bipartisan support but the Senate failed to act.

“These poll results offer important insight for policy makers about the preferences of New Yorkers age 50- 64,” stated Aronstein. “Clearly, the establishment of a health exchange needs to be a priority for the Governor and legislature.”

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