I would say, “I’m shocked!,” except I’m not. In January the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement released a study that revealed Baby Boomers don’t know much about Medicare, and before I read about that, I didn’t know much about Medicare either. One in seven middle income people under 65 believe medicare is free. (It isn’t.) Most don’t know that Medicare doesn’t cover vision or dental, or that many long term care facilities will not accept medicare. In fact, the only way to get Medicare to cover long term care is to completely go through all your financial assets. The study also showed most boomers don’t understand healthcare reform and the benefits it affords them (the program currently being put into place). So now is the time to educate yourself. Ask your employer (or if the coverage will be through your spouse, your spouse’s employer) how much of your pension will go toward medicare supplemental insurance. If you’re financing your own retirement, research costs. Click here for a primer from Kaiser Health News. An even better source come from the AARP. There was some good news in the Bankers Life study, though. Eight in ten middle-income Americans with Medicare are extremely or very satisfied with Medicare’s access to healthcare (81%) and with the quality of healthcare Medicare provides (83%). Nine in ten (93%) of middle-income Americans ages 47 to 75 feel they have a greater awareness of healthy living now than they did when they were in their 20s. Other studies say they’re acting on it too, trying to eat more healthily and getting more exercise. So if you’re a Baby Boomer, when you finish reading up about Medicare, get up and move. If you’re a younger person with parents who are retired or about to, how about talking to them about Medicare to make sure they know how to get the most out of their Medicare benefits? The healthier our seniors and Baby Boomers, the better off we’ll all be.