Knowing you are eligible for Medicare at age 65 may give you some peace of mind about retirement health care costs, but you may be surprised to find out that you’ll still be paying a lot out of pocket.
While Medicare premiums are fairly predictable, tests and procedures and that aren’t covered, unexpected health crises, and prescription drug costs can throw a wrench in even the most carefully laid retirement plans. To help you out, we’ve assembled these 12 tips for saving on retirement health care costs.
#1: Do your research on Medicare plans and supplements
Do you know what Medicare Part A, B, C, and D cover? Should you purchase a Medicare supplemental plan to cover additional tests, items, or services that Medicare doesn’t cover? There are two main ways to get your Medicare coverage: Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). You can also add prescription coverage with Part D.
Of course, each option has inherent premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and coverage limitations. Buying bare-bones coverage may save you money on premiums, but cost more in the form of greater out-of-pocket costs for uncovered services and prescriptions. Alternatively, if you are in excellent health, you could be better off passing on the additional expense of an Advantage Plan or prescription coverage rather than paying for coverage that you don’t use.
That’s why it’s important to take the time to do your research and pick the right plan for you. Compare plans right now to potentially save you a lot of money in the long run.
#2: Assess Your Supplemental Coverage Every Year
It is not enough to research your Medicare supplemental plans just once when you sign up. You will want to assess your coverage once a year during the open enrollment period. Your health needs will evolve and plans change every year.