Before retiring, the cost of healthcare should be considered when you are planning retirement.
Employees want to make sure they are going to receive coverage when they decide to retire in order to avoid the stress of unpaid medical bills. Because of this stress, workers want to be able to receive medical care that they need after retirement.
Seniors statistically require more health coverage per year than the average American adult, so having quality healthcare as well as available healthcare is vital component of any retirement plan. There are many ways to plan for healthcare costs for retirement. Some examples are assessing future healthcare expenses, examining available insurance options and saving for medical-related bills. It is also important for seniors to know how new healthcare laws affect their retirement and their Medicare benefits. The following sections will show you in-depth information on preparing for future retirement healthcare expenses.
Examining Future Healthcare Costs
Healthcare is one of the largest expenses for retirees, so it is important for Americans to understand the amount necessary to cover their medical costs. As you plan for future health care coverage, calculate and create an estimate on your expected health care cost. Even though it is not possible to come up with a definitive number, an estimate can provide insight on whether your health care expenses will be higher or lower than average when you are retired.
Another factor to take into considering is your current overall health. When estimating the cost of retirement medical, health is vital factor because having disease or a chronic condition can result in higher health care costs for you. When calculating the estimate, use the amount that you pay for regular care and any additional medical services you expect to have in the future. Be mindful of other aspects such as where and when you plan to retire since health care costs will change from location and age.
Saving and Budgeting for Medical Costs
An effective way to prepare for medical expenses while retired is by saving money for future health care expenses beforehand. Any unanticipated bills, medical emergencies and costs that are not covered by insurance can be remedied by having savings set aside. Creating periodic savings goals with the estimate for yearly retirement healthcare costs that have already been calculated. A medical emergency savings account can create a safety net for surprise expenses and maintain peace of mind during retirement.
If your employer provides a healthcare plan with a health savings account (HSA), the money placed in the HSA can also help with buffering future medical costs. An HSA lets you save money before the taxes can be used for certain types of medical expenses during retirement. Any leftover HSA funds can grow with interest over time, augmenting your health care savings long term.
Once retired, seniors can still budget their income to have money available for monthly medical expenses. Any additional money can be saved and later directed towards future health care costs.
Examining Your Available Insurance Options
Electing the right health insurance plan for retirement is an important part of planning for retirement. For older Americans, Medicare is the primary option for health insurance and is available to most seniors at a certain age. There are some retirees that select a private healthcare company or will supplement their insurance plan with additional coverage. To select the health insurance plan that is customized to specific needs and budget, investigate and review the options currently available.
Further below, you can learn more about insurance plans available to seniors.
Seniors are typically eligible to apply for Medicare before turning 65 years of age. Medicare is a government assistance program that provides low-income older Americans with health insurance plans. Medicare has plans available known as Part A, B and D. Each plan provides a different type of medical coverage, but Medicare does not have complete coverage and will not pay for some health expenses. Retirees can be left with paying premiums and deductibles with the coverage of this program. Make sure there is a thorough understanding of the benefits available, the costs and coverage gaps for Medicare before signing up.
Potential retirees should consider when their enrollment period for Medicare is to ensure they will receive benefits on time. This will also help avoid receiving penalty charges from enrolling late. Delays can occur if potential retirees miss the date for application, consequently experiencing a delay in coverage as well as fees.
Retirees with Medicare and are not covered for certain benefits and/or medical expenses, Medigap is available for supplemental insurance. Medigap pays for the out-of-pocket health care costs and there are different levels of Medigap care coverage to choose from.
Some seniors choose private health insurance, sometimes through a spouse or an employer. If the private insurance company provides better features than Medicare, then it can be the better option of the two. Make sure that the features that the private insurance company has is good. However, private insurance can only be available for a limited amount of time. For instance, if you or your spouse are employed you will continue to receive benefits.
Understanding New Health Care Laws
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has implemented new laws affecting health care coverage for certain retired Americans. Because of the changes that ACA can create, seniors must understand how these laws will affect their medical insurance benefits when they decide to retire. Taking these new laws into consideration is vital when preparing for retirement, since this legislation is affecting the entire U.S. health care system.
For Medicare, the ACA will implement revisions for existing laws and provide new legislation that will increase coverage, make better quality health care and provide coverage for prescription costs. These new provisions on Medicare are beneficial for seniors, but the different laws enacted by the ACA will have varying effects on senior health insurance plans. The way the ACA affects seniors personally will depend on the individual retirement benefits as well as personal and financial situations.