Health Care Challenges for Older Americans
Costs of health care in retirement continue to rise
It is projected that the average 65-year-old couple retiring in 2013 with Medicare insurance coverage will need approximately $276,000 to cover medical expenses during the combined remainder of their lifetimes. This estimate includes deductibles, supplemental insurance premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and services excluded by Medicare. The figure does not include over-the-counter medications, most dental services, and most long-term care expenses and would be a good deal more if they need to use a nursing home. Health care after retirement is more expensive than most realize.
Traditional Medicare (Part A) covers inpatient hospital costs and stays in skilled nursing facilities plus hospice care. Most pay no extra premium for Part A but in 2013 there is a deductible of $1184 for inpatient hospital stays. This amount you must pay out of pocket.
Part B which covers visits to your physician, outpatient serices, preventive care and certain home health visits charges an extra premium and in 2013 this is $1258.80 a year.
Part D, which covers prescription drugs charges charges an average of $480 per year.
Adding all this together in 2013 you will pay $3,069.80 for the year for basic Medicare coverage assuming you meet your hospital deductibles.
This same 65-year-old couple, both with median drug expenses, needed $163,000 in 2012 to have a 50 percent chance of having enough money to cover health care expenses (excluding long-term care) in retirement, $227,000 to have had a 75 percent chance of covering those expenses, and $283,000 to have had a 90 percent chance of doing so.
Americans are living longer and as a result health care expenses continue for many years past what our parents and grandparents paid as a result of their shorter life spans. The latest figures show life expectancy is 78.2 years from birth; however, once Americans make it to age 65, men can expect to live an additional 17 years and women can expect to live 20 more years.
The likelihood of developing Alzheimer's doubles every five years, beginning at age 65. As a result, after age 85, the risk of developing Alzheimer's in a single year reaches nearly 20 percent. According to a federally funded 90+ Study (reported in the Annals of Neurology).
Medical Expense Calculator
To calculate your out-of-pocket medical expenses during retirement enter the appropriate information into this free calculator click here.
Social Security Longevity Calculator
This calculator will show you the average number of additional years a person can expect to live, based only on the gender and date of birth you enter. Click here
According to EBRI a private, nonprofit research institute based in Washington, DC, in 2009, the amount of savings needed to cover health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health care expenses in retirement are as follows:
A married couple with average health care expenses would need savings of $268,000 to have a 50 percent chance of having enough money for retirement health costs, or $414,000 for a 90 percent chance. (The comparable 2008 numbers were $246,000 and $376,000.)
For those with very high drug expenses (in the 90th percentile), couples would need $807,000 to have a 90 percent chance of having enough money. (The comparable 2008 numbers was $635,000).
These figures do not include the costs to cover long-term care or over the counter drugs. The full report is available online click here.
If you are retired and have a family that includes dependent children the 2010 cost for family health coverage is $19,596 according to a Towers Perrin study. The survey finds the cost for pre-65 retirees, who are not yet eligible for Medicare, will be $7,596 If you are 65 or older the cost is $3,840 for an individual and $7,848.to cover a retiree plus one dependent.
Women's Healh Information (over 50 topics)
This FDA site (click here)
has information on a wide variety of topics including:
and has free publications available designed to give women timely health information in a clear, easy-to-read format. There are over 40 fact sheets available in English and Spanish. The fact sheets provide basic information-at-a-glance about a range of health issues like diabetes, heart disease, cosmetics, menopause, mammography, asthma, and safe medication use. Call 301-796-9440
Check your physician's qualifications
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Medical Disclaimer: The information on these pages is not intended to subsiture for the advice of a physician.