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Health care costs

Average Retired Couple Will Pay $376,000 Out-of-Pocket for Health Care Costs, Warns Report

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: health care costs, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) The average couple that does not have its health care subsidized by former employers will need to pay $376,000 for adequate health care after retirement, according to a report released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Researchers calculated the estimated post-retirement Medicare expenses for men, women and couples depending on whether a former employer was subsidizing the costs or not and on how comprehensive of coverage people were willing to pay for. They classified "low risk" coverage as 90 percent likely to be able to cover all medical bills, "medium risk" coverage as only 75 percent likely, and "high risk" coverage as 50 percent likely.

The average 65-year-old man with a former employer subsidizing his health care will need $64,000 for high risk coverage, $96,000 for medium risk and $122,000 for low risk. Without help from a former employer, those numbers go up to $102,000 for high risk, $154,000 for medium risk and $196,000 for low risk.

The average 65-year-old woman with a former employer subsidizing her health care will need $86,000 for high risk coverage, $112,000 for medium risk and $140,000 for low risk. Unsubsidized, the costs increase to $137,000 for high risk, $179,000 for medium risk and $224,000 for low risk.

For subsidized couples, high-risk insurance will cost an average of $154,000, medium risk will be $198,000, and low risk $235,000. For the growing numbers who do not have employer-subsidized coverage, the cost of high-risk insurance will be $246,000, medium risk will be $317,000 and high-risk will be $376,000.

The major medical expense included in the report's figures is medication.

"Understand what it's going to take to cover these expenses," said report co-author Paul Fronstin. "Don't be in denial about whether you are going to have benefits through a former employer in the future."

The researchers noted that their figures do not include the costs of daily living expenses or nursing homes, which would cost extra.

Sources for this story include: finance.yahoo.com.

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