Today eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) (eHealth.com), an online private health insurance marketplace, released findings from a new survey of more than 3,800 American seniors age 65 and older, exploring their sentiments on mental health care.
The report’s findings show that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on seniors’ sense of wellbeing and changed how they think of mental health care.
eHealth found that nearly half (48%) of seniors are “very willing” to seek mental health care today, compared to 35% before the pandemic. Nearly 40% say pandemic conditions have made them feel more lonely and isolated. Since the pandemic began, 9% of senior women received mental health care treatment for the first time in their lives.
- Seniors are willing to talk about mental health but many don’t address it with their doctors: 66% of seniors say they are just as willing to talk about mental health care as they are about any other form of medical care. However, 51% have never talked about mental health with their regular doctor.
- Mental health care benefits are important to seniors: 72% say mental health benefits are important to them when picking a health insurance plan; 64% say mental health benefits are just as important as other forms of medical care.
- Many seniors don’t know about Medicare’s mental health benefits: 61% didn’t know that Medicare provides mental health care benefits.
The report is based on a voluntary survey of Medicare beneficiaries who purchased Medicare health insurance plans through eHealth. The survey was conducted in February of 2022 and a total of 3,869 responses were collected.