Healthcare

Going broke with Medicare? 

We have all heard the stories of financial ruin because of health care bills, especially when it comes to seniors on Medicare, but for most seniors the risk is overstated. Medical bankruptcy is not the problem some politicians make it to be and never was. 

However, that does not mean health care costs are not high and a major budget item even for those on Medicare, but that cost is mostly in premiums and the risk of prescription drugs. Some seniors pay more for health care coverage than their income counterparts using Obamacare. 

The typical person on Medicare will pay $134 for Part B, about $40 for Part D and about $220 for Medigap coverage. That all comes to $4728 a year or $9,456 for a couple. Solid middle income and above ($85,000) income seniors pay considerably more in Part B and D premiums.

For most services the combined coverage assures that catastrophic bills will not bankrupt the family. A Medigap policy can cover all deductibles and co-insurance each year. A Medicare Advantage plan which replaces basic Medicare can lower potential out-of- pocket costs even further.

However, there are other risks but that risk is not spread evenly. They may be incurred by some and avoided by others. 

Medigap policies generally do not cover the following health services and supplies:

Long-term care (care in a nursing home) 𗀼😯 {see below}

Routine vision or dental care

Hearing aids

Eyeglasses

Private-duty nursing

Prescription drugs (your annual risk is $5,000 under Part D)

😮 𗀼According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, slightly over 5 percent of the 65+ population occupy nursing homes, congregate care, assisted living, and board-and-care homes, and about 4.2 percent are in nursing homes at any given time. The rate of nursing home use increases with age from 1.4 percent of the young-old to 24.5 percent of the oldest-old. Almost 50 percent of those 95 and older live in nursing homes.

Linda Breytspraak, Center on Aging Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City

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3 replies »

  1. Medical bankruptcy studies contrived. Mostly misrepresentations to sell Health Reform – which itself has not affected so-called “medical bankruptcies.”

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