What is Medicare?

What is Medicare - Part A, B, C, D?

What is Medigap?

Is this complex or what? Yes, it is.... 

WAIT -- Are you looking for information on Medicare (at age 65) or Medicaid (low income)? Do you know the difference?

Here are definitions, premiums, deductibles of the different parts of Medicare:

Medicare - Part A - Hospital
Medicare - Part B – Doctor Visits, etc.
Medicare - Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare - Part D – Prescription Drugs

Contact Medicare

1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227

Medical Costs for Retirees today

Fidelity Investments has watched retiree medical costs for over ten years now.  They estimate that a 65 year old couple, retiring in 2013, will need $240,000 to cover future medical bills.

Yet, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reports that 60% of retirees saved less than $25,000 for retirement (excluding home values and pension plans).

Their estimated calculations include: cost of deductibles and co-pays, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and things Medicare doesn't cover like hearing aids or glasses.

Basic Medicare Calculation

The total cost of Basic Medicare each year (based on 2013 numbers) is $3,069, as follows:

Part A - $1184 (deductible)

Part B - $1405 (premium & deductible)

Part D - $ 480 (premium)

** see individual pages for Part A, B, D (above) for details

So, $3,069 per year in 2013. Couple retires at 65 and  lives into their mid-80s to make this calc. easy... 

$3069 x 20 years of retirement = $61,380

$61,380 x 2 persons = $122,760

I calculated this in my own attempt to bring the $240,000 cost that Fidelity estimated, down to reality. Guess what?  It's REAL.

If the basic Medicare premiums alone cost you half of what they suggested... you can easily imagine everything else will easily total $3000/year in out of pocket expenses. Yikes!

More Retiree Medicare Realities

Age 80 or older?  Average health care spending is 18% of household costs.

Dental is not covered by Medicare. The American Dental Assn. estimates that 2 exams with x-rays and cleanings would cost $288.year.

Hearing tests are covered by Medicare, when medically necessary. Hearing aids are not covered which many seniors need cost from $900 to more than $3000 EACH (not for the pair)... usually they last about five years.

Find Medigap Supplemental Plans

Fifteen years ago, 2008, 62% of larger employers had health care for retirees.. employer-provided health care after retirement.

Today, only 25% of these larger employers offer retiree health care benefits, according to the AFL-CIO.

This site allows you to search for Medigap Supplement Plans in your state. It's very helpful!

Veterans Retirement Health Care

Veterans who quality for health care can get health care and prescription drugs though the VA (Department of Veterans  Affairs). However if you need treatment outside a VA facility,you will need Medicare.  Here is a Vets Health Care Handbook which will give you details.

Retiree Health Care opinions

I asked retirees about their senior medical insurance options to determine how everyone is coping out there.

More Retirement Advice here...