Rising Retiree Health Care Costs:  Limiting Retirement Lifestyle
by Harvey Weinstein, MBA

Recognizing a Major Concern

One of retirees’ major financial worry is their lack of confidence in their ability to continue to cover basic health expenses during their entire retirement years, and worrying about the resulting lifestyle restrictions.

They expect medical expenses to increase significantly while the federal government wrestles with the impending insolvency of Medicare,

Less than half of retirees surveyed are confident that Medicare will continue to provide benefits equal to today’s benefits into the future. These findings are shown in the  Retirement Confidence Survey.by the well-known Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Retirees Expect Trouble Ahead for Medicare

Last year, the Annual Report by Medicare Trustees projected the government program that provides health insurance for 57 million retirees will be insolvent in 11 years--by 2029.

In addition, Actuaries at the Congressional Budget Office project that the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) trust fund will run dry in 8 years-- by 2026.

The prospect of future coverage restrictions and higher premiums is clearly weighing on retirees, EBRI says.

Retirees Current Problems

Retirees are already feeling health care cost’s pinch. More than four in 10 retirees report that their health care expenses are higher in retirement than they planned. Escalating Medicare premiums far exceed the tiny cost of living seen in Social Security’s cost of living increases.

New Medicare Enrollee Problems

New enrollees to Medicare will experience premiums increases.

In addition, Social Security’s 2 percent COLA increase for 2018 will result in higher Medicare Part B premiums, which are taken out of Social Security checks, for many retirees.. About 40 percent of retirees will see their Part B premiums grow to $134 a month this year because of the COLA increase.

Higher health care costs have taken retirees by surprise, according to the EBRI report. Almost half of the retirees say health care costs are higher than they planned for all of their retirement years.

Retirees are Discovering Valuable Information

Seniors realize that deciding on a Medicare health plan for their needs is one of the most important decisions they will make in retirement. 

Retirees are searching and evaluating Medicare plans to understand the different Medicare parts and to find the best Medicare health plan for themselves.  Unfortunately, it is a maze of Medicare choices.

Seniors realize that there is a need to compare choices and evaluate different Medicare health plans options so they can keep prices low and benefits high for their specific medical needs.-so they can maintain sufficient retirement assets.

Our Non-Profit Resource Center for Seniors can help.    

Our “Medicare Options Analysis” will provide seniors with Medicare advice without charge. This analysis will help the senior to make informed decisions, and find the best Medicare health plan based on their specific needs.

For more information, or to arrange for our free analysis, contact Harvey at 860-778-8168