INDIANAPOLIS - A new study commissioned by Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging shows a vast majority of older Americans believe they are ready to face their growing years, but struggle with understanding the health care system.

The survey shows eight out of ten people, age 60 and older, believe they are prepared to age well, but seven out of ten are at least somewhat concerned about their health as they age.

When it comes to understanding health care benefits, nearly half (46 percent) of those surveyed said they need help in understanding their health insurance. Forty-two percent said if they better understood the benefits, medical bills, diagnosis and treatment, they would feel more empowered to manage their health.

“Each year, local Area Agencies on Aging serve and support millions of people across the country who are having difficulty understanding and navigating the health care system and their benefits,” says Sandy Markwood, CEO, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “n4a’s members know how important it is to engage in dialogue with older adults and understand the barriers they confront in receiving the health care information that they need and deserve.”

The survey was conducted by The Harris Poll who interviewed more than 3,000 people in a two-phase process. In the first step, Harris talked with care recipients who were at least 60 years old. Of that group, 65 percent are currently on some type of Medicare insurance coverage. The second step included caregivers.

According to the survey, 79 percent of caregivers believe that they would be better able to help manage a person’s care if they better understood their care recipient’s benefits.

“Anthem continually develops programs that aim to make it easier for Medicare-eligible individuals and the people who support them to better understand Medicare plans and how the services available can help consumers improve their well-being,” said Martin Esquivel, vice president, product management at Anthem’s Medicare Business. 

The survey also shows women are more likely than men to report at least one challenge with navigating the health care system; 65 percent versus 52 percent, respectively.

“Our goal is to simplify the health care experience, so that all Americans feel empowered to manage their health and fully utilize their benefits,”

Click here to get a closer look at the results of the survey.