(Eagan, MN) — Sept. 12, 2022 — According to a new survey from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), the majority of Minnesota seniors plan on taking at least one trip in the next 12 months and place importance on having access to health care while away from home.
The Blue Cross survey results, which reflect more than 500 responses from across the Twin Cities metro area and throughout Greater Minnesota, found that seniors are prioritizing travel among other health and wellness goals.
- More than half of Minnesota seniors plan on traveling in the next 12 months, with 81% planning multiple trips.
- Minnesota seniors say they like to stay active when traveling, with over half (63%) exercising while on the road.
- The primary reason for travel is vacation and to visit family and/or friends, with almost three-quarters (72%) of Minnesota seniors choosing to drive their own car to get there and 54% choosing to fly on an airplane. A majority (64%) of Minnesota seniors believe that coverage for unexpected medical care or prescription medications is extremely important while traveling.
- However, only one in five seniors reported needing unscheduled or unexpected medical care while away from home.
Overall, Minnesota seniors are experiencing fewer negative emotions regarding COVID-19 than they have reported in the previous two years. However, while they feel positive about their health, they intend to continue taking precautions to protect it. The survey showed subtle shifts in seniors’ health goals, with an emphasis on healthy eating versus losing weight. Fewer seniors said that spending time with friends and family was a top goal in 2022. There was also a marked increase in respondents prioritizing relaxation activities to deal with stress.
“The COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on Minnesota seniors’ mental health and emotional well-being,” said Dr. Mark Steffen, senior vice president of medical management and chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. “Returning to much-awaited activities, like travel with the proper precautions, can be beneficial in improving seniors’ overall well-being.”
John Hines, a long-time Twin Cities radio personality who is newly enrolled in Medicare, recently traveled to Alaska, one of the top travel destinations for seniors. Hines has partnered with Blue Cross to raise awareness of health issues facing seniors. He agrees that there are perks to growing older.
“How I have spent my time, along with my activities and habits, have changed this last year, in mostly positive ways,” Hines said. “I have felt more comfortable traveling and exercising in a gym, which has helped my physical and emotional health immensely.”
The Blue Cross survey also found Minnesota seniors are still focused on promoting their health. Among Minnesota seniors, 67% are highly motivated to make their health a priority. Additionally, 70% of seniors strongly agree that quality health insurance gives them peace of mind, allowing them to focus on other areas of life.
For more information on senior attitudes about their health in 2022, visit Bluecrossmn.com/seniors.
Survey methodology: Blue Cross surveyed 515 Minnesota residents 65+ years of age. The survey was fielded July 12 to July 21, 2022.
John Hines, a long-time Twin Cities radio personality who is newly enrolled in Medicare, has partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to raise awareness of health issues facing seniors.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
For nearly 90 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (bluecrossmn.com) has supported the health, wellbeing and peace of mind of our members by striving to ensure equitable access to high quality care at an affordable price. Our 2.7 million members can be found in every Minnesota county, all 50 states and on four continents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.