Understand Medicare for Retirees.

Healthcare in retirement may cost more than you think. According to a recent study*, a 65-year old couple retiring in 2019 can expect to spend $285,000 in health care and medical expenses (including premiums and out-of-pocket costs) throughout retirement.

That’s why it’s important to carefully consider your healthcare options, including Medicare for retirees, when planning for retirement. By maximizing your benefits (including Social Security and employer-sponsored health plans) and using a protection strategy to help protect your retirement, you can make sure you’re prepared to better manage your healthcare costs in retirement.

*Fidelity’s® 2019 Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate

Review Your Medicare Plans Yearly to Maximize Benefits.

Plan to review and compare your Medicare health and prescription drug plan coverage options annually. The annual Medicare Open Enrollment is an important opportunity to help manage that estimated $285,000 in health care and medical expenses.

This is your time to ensure your current plan is still the best fit for your budget and health needs. It’s also important to consider if this is true for your spouse as well.

We suggest that each year you:

  1. Review your plan notice.
  2. Think about what matters most to you, e.g. medication coverage, specialist care or being able to choose a particular doctor.
  3. Find out if you qualify for help paying for your Medicare.
  4. Shop for plans that meet your retirement needs and fit your budget.
  5. Check your plan’s star rating before you enroll.

Want to learn more about any of the tasks on the above checklist? Download a free guide to learn how to prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment.

Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage: Choose the Right Plan for You.

Another important decision regarding Medicare for retirees: Should you use Original Medicare or go with a Medicare Advantage Plan? If you choose original Medicare, should you consider Medigap?

Before making that decision, you’ll want to understand the difference between the plans. Medicare.gov offers this explanation: Original Medicare includes Hospital (Part A) and Medical (Part B) insurance. If you want drug coverage, you can add a separate drug plan (Part D). You can also add a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy to help pay your out-of-pocket costs.

A Medicare Advantage Plan is an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. Most plans offer extra benefits— like vision, hearing, dental, and more.” The site also has a helpful Medicare Plan Finder tool.

Once you understand the options available to you, we suggest you:

  • Add and compare costs
  • Look at networks and providers
  • Consider added benefits, such as vision, dental, and hearing care

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to talk with someone who’s well informed about Medicare for retirees and familiar with your specific financial circumstances? You can. When you work with Retirement Planners of America, we offer comprehensive retirement planning, which includes consultation regarding your Medicare options. Our advisors can help you navigate the Medicare maze and choose a plan for you.