How High Can Healthcare Costs Run After Retirement? You’re Not Prepared to Hear the Answer
While most people adequately plan for their retirement, the one faction of it they tend to overlook is their health. With a person’s golden years comes the age-related complications that are inevitable, a fact that most Americans tend to forget. This can have far-reaching consequences on your retirement savings, especially for medical costs not covered by Medicare.
Fidelity Investments have already carried out their annual analysis on what retirees should expect to pay for health-care during the entirety of their retirement period, with the firm putting the figure at $285,000 for a couple where partners both retire at 65.
Eligible for Medicare
And to put it into more context, the assumption within the financial services corporation is that either partner is eligible for the national health insurance program. Their analysis, therefore, looks into the premiums they pay, prescription drugs, and other health expenses that they cost-share.
Wells Fargo also conducted a study of their own, with their findings being that two-thirds of retired Americans rank health concerns as one of their top worrying issues. Most of them admit to having thought that Medicare would cover all costs, but the situation on the ground turned out to be very different.
OTC drugs, basic vision, and dental healthcare are all not under Medicare, and they are the health expenses that make up the bulk of the $285,000 estimate reported by Fidelity. Costs incurred for long-term care make up the rest of the expenses for each couple, and truth be told, these are sometimes inevitable as people age.
As Fidelity reports, medical expenses make up 15% of the total expenses incurred by a retiree in a year. Don’t Medicare premiums fall squarely into this bracket, if you critically think about it? Americans aged 65 and older use the program as their primary insurer, and even though they may qualify for Part A at no additional costs owing to the contributions they made during their years under someone’s employ, they tend to opt into Part B which calls for monthly premiums.
With the provisions of Part B being outpatient care and doctor visits, you get why most retirees opt-in. If one is willing, they can also opt into Medicare Advantage or Part C, these being insurance plans from private providers. The benefits here are that such plans may provide coverage for prescription drugs, vision, or even dental health.
For those with both Parts A and B of the Medicare Program, they have the option of taking the supplemental policy route. Referred to as Medigap, this plan covers a couple’s deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. For prescription coverage alone, clients are advised to overlook Part C and go for Part D instead.
Understandably, this may all feel very confusing for a couple seeking a coverage perfect for their health needs. Fortunately, SHIP programs are available to provide free advice, assistance, and counseling to all Medicare beneficiaries.
What’s more, their services are open to the beneficiaries’ families, friends, and even their primary caregivers. It’s all in the spirit of ensuring that these retirees get the best healthcare services that they can, don’t you agree?
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