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Middle-Income Retirees Not Taking Advantage of Medicare's Free Preventive Services, New Study Reveals

CHICAGO, March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A whopping 98 percent of our nation's middle-income retirees state that good health is extremely important to a satisfying retirement, yet many fall short when it comes to implementing a simple step to safeguard their health. That's according to a new study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement(SM) (CSR).

The CSR's Retirement Healthcare for Middle-Income Americans study of 400 pre-Medicare Boomers (age 47 to 64) and 400 older adults (age 65 to 75) with an annual household income of between $25,000 and $75,000, found that less than half (42 percent) take advantage of Medicare's annual wellness visit.

Fewer than half (47 percent) of women and only one-third (32 percent) of men used this preventive care service in a one year period.

When it comes to understanding what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle, middle-income Boomers and seniors agree that knowledge comes after age 40. 

Nine in ten (93 percent) middle-income Americans age 47 to 75 feel they have a greater awareness of healthy living now than when they were in their 20s and 89 percent say they are in similar or better health than their parents were at their age.  

Good health is important at any age but it takes on added significance for people as they enter their retirement years. Therefore, it is not surprising to see that many have taken steps to improve their health. 

Nearly all (94 percent) middle-income American age 47 to 75 indicate that they have taken at least one step to improve their health in the past few years, including improving their diet and eating habits (77 percent), taking steps to reduce stress (65 percent) and doing mental and physical exercises (64 percent and 56 percent respectively).

However, visiting your doctor regularly can ensure that the healthy steps you're taking are having real, positive health impacts.

"Make good health a personal priority," said Chris Campbell, vice president of strategic marketing and business development for Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health insurer. "Take steps to improve your health now so that you can fully enjoy your retirement years and help keep healthcare costs down."

The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement's study Retirement Healthcare for Middle-Income Americans was conducted in September 2011 by the independent research firm The Blackstone Group. The complete report can be viewed at

About the Center for a Secure Retirement
The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement is the Company's research and consumer education program.  Its studies and consumer awareness campaigns provide insight and practical advice for how everyday Americans can achieve financial security during retirement.

Established in 1879 in Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses on the insurance needs of the retirement market.  The nationwide company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO), offers a broad portfolio of life and health insurance retirement products designed especially for retirees.

SOURCE Center for a Secure Retirement