A new study finds it’s possible to reduce your healthcare costs if you have an older sibling or partner.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at data from more than 11,000 US individuals and found that seniors with an older brother or sister had a 4.4 percent lower healthcare spending compared to those with a younger sibling or someone who had a spouse with a disability.
“The findings are very encouraging and provide additional evidence that older adults who have a sibling or spouse with health conditions can be helped by increasing their savings,” said lead author Michael O’Sullivan, MD, professor of internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
O’Sullivan and his colleagues analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security records and health insurance data.
They used a model that used data from Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicare’s data on people with a pre-existing condition.
They found that those who were 65 and older were 5.5 percentage points more likely to have a younger brother or a younger sister than those with younger brothers or sisters.
When they adjusted for family income, the researchers found that older Americans were 20.6 percentage points less likely to live in poverty.
The researchers say their findings may be useful in explaining why older adults are less likely than younger people to be able to afford healthcare.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9.5 million older Americans rely on Medicare or Medicaid for health insurance, according to the latest available data from Medicaid.
In 2017, the Centers and Medicare estimated that 8.4 million older adults, or about 7 percent of the U-6 population, were on Medicare and 9.4 billion older Americans, or nearly 6 percent of all U-8 adults, were eligible for Medicare.
The researchers say this data may help explain why older Americans are more likely than their younger counterparts to be living in poverty, but the study is still early in its research.
“While older adults in general are not likely to be the most financially stable of older adults (and therefore, the least likely to use healthcare resources for healthcare), the older adults that are most likely to rely on healthcare resources may also be the ones who are least able to access healthcare resources or to pay for their healthcare,” O’Neill said.
“We do not know the reasons why these older adults might have lower health insurance costs than their peers.”
O’Neill says that while the study focuses on the U:6 population (people 65 and over), other researchers have also found that the health care costs of older people are similar to those of younger adults.
Opinion: If you’re struggling with health insurance coverage, it’s important to understand your costsSources: Business Insider | Business Insider