It’s no surprise that one of the most expensive aspects of aging is financing your healthcare needs. In fact, according to a report published by West Health and Gallup, collectively, American seniors have withdrawn $22 billion from long-term savings to pay for their healthcare expenses.
While healthcare coverage is a non-negotiable expense for many older adults, there are some ways to reduce its cost. Like many insurance plans, some healthcare policies have hidden costs that the policyholder might not know to look for before purchasing. USA Today published an article highlighting the following top health care hidden costs to be aware of.
Unfortunately, Medicare plans don’t include dental coverage in their plan offerings. That’s why many older adults choose a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans, while more expensive, offer more in-depth coverage, including dental care. Another option is to buy dental insurance unrelated to Medicare. These plans can be more expensive than an Advantage plan, but in some ways, are more customizable. You might consider doing your research by talking to an insurance broker or Medicare counselor.
While Medicare doesn’t cover routine eye exams, it does cover treatment for eye diseases and injury, like glaucoma or cataracts. If you wear eye glasses and plan on getting a new pair or to have your eyes checked every year, you might consider a Medicare Advantage plan. Vision care can also be purchased by a private insurance company, but you are also at risk for high premiums.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. However, Medicare plans do not cover items such as hearing aids for those with hearing loss. If you already have hearing loss and use hearing aids or other devices, you might consider buying an Advantage plan to make sure you are covered.
Long-term care includes in-home-aids, stays in a nursing home or assisted living, among other services. Medicare does not cover long-term care services unless it’s related to a medical problem or recovery from a specific procedure. That’s why many adults choose to pay for long-term care insurance.
However, this type of insurance can be expensive, and if you wait to buy when you’re older or actually need coverage, you can expect rates to increase dramatically. However, long-term care insurance will protect your assets, while giving you the care you need if you ever need it.
Ways to Prepare
It’s important to start planning for your retirement before you get there. This means starting a retirement account early in your career, and finding other options that will help offset the cost of retirement expenses including healthcare coverage. Here are a few you might consider:
- Have emergency funds that are easy to access and available for immediate use
- Plan out your estate plan and will while it is cognitively easy for you
- Research your preference when it comes to choosing health and life insurance policies
- Forecast your needs as best you can
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky know how hard it can be to navigate the nuances of retirement. We’re here to help. If you’re interested in talking with one of our staff members or scheduling a tour, please contact us here.