Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Medicare Beneficiaries' Use of Computers and Internet: 1998-2005

Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Medicare Beneficiaries' Use of Computers and Internet: 1998-2005

Article excerpt

The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) contains a vast amount of information about the Medicare population. Common characteristics such as demographic, health status, and utilization of various services are included in the survey as well as other less known information. This highlight will look into the use of computers and Internet service by the Medicare population over time using data from 1998-2005 Access to Care Files. Demographic characteristics of the Medicare population who use the computer and Internet will also be examined using MCBS data.

With the abundance of heath-related information available on the Internet, it is interesting to see how much of it is being utilized by the Medicare population. In 2003, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act introduced the Part D prescription drug program. As expected, usage of the Medicare Web site (https://www.medicare.gov) increased significantly between 2004 and 2005. More detailed information about this trend will be available from the MCBS in the next few years.

Other results show that 47 percent of the Medicare population owned a computer and 46 percent reported having Internet access in 2005. …

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