Situation Report | October 26, 2020
On Friday, October 16, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released information related to Medicare beneficiaries’ experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the highlights include:
- The most commonly reported preventive health behavior was washing hands or using hand sanitizer (98 percent), followed by keeping distance from people outside of the household (94 percent). The least commonly reported preventive health behavior was consulting with a health care provider (19 percent).
- The most commonly reported impact on daily life was not being able to get household supplies (12 percent) followed by not being able to get an appointment with a health care provider (9 percent).
- 21 percent of beneficiaries reported needing health care for something other than COVID-19, but not getting it because of the pandemic. The most commonly foregone care was dental (43 percent) followed by regular check-up (36 percent), treatment for ongoing condition (36 percent), and diagnostic or medical screening test (32 percent). The most common reason cited for forgoing care was not wanting to risk being at a medical facility (45 percent).
- Of beneficiaries who have a usual health care provider, 60 percent reported that this provider currently offers telephone or video appointments.
- Among beneficiaries whose usual health care provider offers telemedicine appointments, 58 percent reported that their provider offers both telephone and video appointments and 22 percent reported that their provider offered telemedicine appointments before the pandemic.
- 92 percent of beneficiaries with a total household income of $25,000 or more have access to the Internet compared to 65 percent of beneficiaries with a total household income of less than $25,000.
- 56 percent reported that traditional news (e.g., TV, radio, websites, newspapers) was their primary source of COVID-19 information, while only 2 percent reported that social media was their primary source of COVID-19 information.