Retirement planning: Invest in your health

Your Future Health Care Needs

While it’s pretty easy to calculate future expenses for most retirement items, the largest expense – health care – can be the most challenging to forecast. And it’s the one that you should worry most about.

Medicare and Social Security are two of the most important government programs in the United States. They provide vital support for millions of Americans, especially seniors and those with disabilities. 

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for individuals aged 65 or older and certain younger people with disabilities. You’ll only be eligible for emergency hospital coverage (Medicare Part A) when you turn 65 years old. 

What many don’t realize is that Medicare Part B (Medicare’s health insurance program) is not a free government handout – it requires a monthly premium. And unlike traditional health care plans, Medicare Part B does not cap your out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C), on the other hand, tries to combine the two and attempts to replicate a traditional health insurance plan at lower premiums, but it limits your choice of providers significantly.

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Medicare Will Not Cover All Health Care Costs

Medicare covers a range of health care services, including hospital stays, doctor visits, preventive care and prescription drugs. However, there are several out-of-pocket expenses that individuals may be responsible for:

Medicare will only cover a limited amount of skilled nursing care following a hospital stay, and only under certain conditions.

While some preventive services are covered, such as glaucoma tests and hearing exams, most routine dental, vision and hearing care is not covered by Medicare.

These costs can add up quickly, especially for those who require frequent medical care. 

Medicare’s Limitations

There are also limitations on the types of health care providers and services covered under Medicare. For example, individuals may be limited to seeing health care providers who accept Medicare and may not have access to all types of medical procedures or technologies.

It is also important to note that there are additional insurance options available to help fill some of the gaps in Medicare coverage.

  • Medicare Supplement plan, also known as Medigap: These plans are sold by private insurance companies and can help cover some of the out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

  • Medicare Advantage plan: An all-in-one alternative to original Medicare. These plans are also sold by private insurance companies and often include additional benefits, such as dental, vision, and hearing care, that are not covered by original Medicare. However, they may come with certain limitations.

Meet Your Planners

David Batchelder

Senior Investment Officer

Dan Bernardo

VP, Financial Planner, Private Client Group

James Bremis

Financial Planner

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Medicare planning can be difficult to navigate. Sentinel breaks down your options to make it all easier. Speak with one of our Financial Planners today! 

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