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article imageSeniors struggling with healthcare costs, retirement planning

By Michael Essany     Jul 15, 2014 in Business
The proverbial "golden years" aren't so golden for an alarming and growing number of seniors in the United States today.
On Tuesday, MSN Money published the disturbing news that healthcare is fast-becoming an elusive luxury for many aging Americans.
"According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute," the report reads, "Medicare covered about 62 percent of health care costs for seniors in 2010. Private insurance covered 13 percent and seniors paid 12 percent of costs."
Unfortunately, out-of-pocket health care costs clocked in at $4,760 in 2011 for a 65-year-old in "poor health" and $4,450 for a 65-year-old in "good health."
"By age 75," the data reveals, "those numbers increased to $5,635 for someone in poor health and $5,220 for a senior in good health."
With 53% of Medicare recipients bringing in approximately $25,000 or less in annual income as of last year, these healthcare expenses are astronomical for thousands of senior citizens.
"There will always be a small share of the Medicare population with sufficient wealth and resources to absorb higher costs, but most will not be in that position," Kaiser Family Foundation executive Tricia Neuman says. "The assumption that boomers are healthier and wealthier and that we'll have a much rosier Medicare outlook down the road just isn't going to happen."
Beyond basic healthcare, experts also warn, millions of aging Americans may also be compelled to address costs associated with long term care.
"Did you know that 1 out of 2 people in the United States of America will require Long Term Care at some point?" asks the Center for Senior Benefits. "This includes Home Health, Assisted Living, Adult Day Care, Nursing Home, etc. Did you also know that Medicare will only cover a maximum of 100 days in a Skilled Nursing Facility, and you're not even guaranteed the full 100 days?"
The Center for Senior Benefits is a national organization that specializes in Health Insurance, Life Insurance and Retirement Planning.
Fortunately, "thanks to the Pension Protection Act and advancement in Long Term Care Insurance policy structures," the organization notes, "LTCi now makes a lot of sense because someone is guaranteed to benefit from the money you paid."
Although sound financial planning and market research can guide seniors in the right direction as they enter their final years, the sobering fact remains that more and more elderly Americans are learning to live with less.
"Just 5 percent of Medicare recipients will have income of more than $111,900 in 2030, while half will have less than $28,250 to live on," the MSN money report concludes.
More about Medicare, Seniors, retirement planning, Healthcare, Insurance
 
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