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Are You Planning For Health Care Costs In Retirement?

April 11, 2017

Some of you may already be familiar with the headlines in the news regarding the future of health care. Not only does the new administration play a role in your future but some estimates show that a 65-year-old couple who retired in 2015 would need $245,000 of their own savings to handle 20 years of out-of-pocket retirement health costs.

There is still more work to be done. Unfortunately, we cannot count on many others to take care of us as we grow older and need Long Term Care. We need to count on ourselves and make smart choices when picking out our health care plans, especially during retirement. Below you will find a few tips on how to do this.

Making smarter choices for our healthcare plan and costs for retirement.

1) You need to think about the types of plans you will have available. There will be Medicare Part B, Medigap, Medicare Part D, and Long Term Care Health Insurance.

These are the 4 plans most likely going to be available to you during this time.

Medicare Part B: As of last year, this plan runs about $120 per month. It will go up for those who make more. Keep this in mind.

Medigap: This is for those who need coverage beyond what Medicare does not cover. There is the Medicare Advantage Plan as well. This may not cover your costs for things like dental, eye and vision. The dental costs will be rather expensive when they are out-of-pocket. The Advantage plan will cover all areas, except the hospital visits. This is where your big bills will come in.

Long-Term Insurance: Medicare is not going to cover these needs. This is why many older people tend to choose this plan alongside Medicare.

2) The costs are something else you will need to think about, especially the out-of-pocket costs. Men who are 65 or older will need about $4500 per year. This includes the out-of-pocket costs. You need to put aside about $375 in savings a month. Those who do not are going to be at a major disadvantage. Women will see the same price range, more or less. As time goes by, this is going to double. When you turn 65 years old, you may need about $675 or more per month. Married couples will need at least double this amount.

What Services Are Not Covered By Medicare?

Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures for retirees, and modern medicine has greatly reduced the invasiveness of the surgery and patient-recovery time by using lasers, rather than a scalpel, to remove the cataract. But Medicare will pay only for procedures using a scalpel, and not the extra cost of laser surgery, which typically runs an additional $1,500 an eye, says Bill Kampine, co-founder of Healthcare Bluebook, which tracks costs for health-care services. Want a specialized or premium lens that can better address astigmatism? That’s up to $3,000 an eye.

Costs can also add up for routine dental work. Medicare doesn’t cover typical dental costs but will step in if a hospital stay is needed. Some Medicare Advantage plans include dental care, but most retirees pay it all themselves. A dental implant can cost as much as $3,000, with the crown and possible bone grafts costing another $4,150.

How can the costs be reduced?

1) Eat right. Stay healthy. Get exercise.

2) Incorporate health care and long term care as part of your retirement plan.

There is nothing guaranteed from the government and it is smart to be careful about relying on your employer’s promise to provide health care benefits once you retire. Even those that pledge such care may find it hard to live up to their promise when you hit retirement. More and more big companies in a financial pinch are reducing or rescinding health insurance benefits once promised to their retirees.

Eric and Jennifer Lahaie
JEHM Wealth & Retirement



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