Medicare Open Enrollment Means More To Boomers Than Ever
North American Precis Syndicate
Planning for your retirement should include taking medical costs into account. A professional financial adviser can help. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—Each year, Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15 and ends
on December 7. It's an important opportunity for eligible individuals to
select a Medicare plan that best meets their current and potential health
needs, and also offers crucial protection for unexpected costs.
Although it's been 10 years since the worst financial crisis since the
Great Depression hit the U.S.,
most middle-income boomers say they still don't feel their finances have
fully recovered. According to a recent study from the Bankers Life
Center for a Secure
Retirement, today, only 57 percent of middle-income boomers feel confident
meeting their daily financial obligations, down from 65 percent before the
crisis. Along with their smaller savings accounts, concerns about rising
health care costs as they age could be feeding boomers' lack of confidence in
their financial futures.
Today, boomers expect to carry more debt into retirement; only 34 percent
expect to retire debt-free. One of the main drivers of debt for this
demographic is the nationwide increase in health care costs. Boomers—an
estimated 74.9 million Americans aged 53 to 71 in 2017—will likely live to
around age 85, on average, according to the Social Security Administration,
and unexpected health issues associated with age can drain savings and
increase the risk of added debt.
During Medicare Open Enrollment, middle-income boomers can identify health
care savings opportunities and prepare for unexpected costs related to
illness or injury, with the goal of achieving a more personally satisfying
Here are four tips to consider as you plan for Medicare Open Enrollment:
1. Create a monthly budget to
assist in managing your debt. Boomers are realizing they will not be as
financially independent in retirement as they once expected. Examine your
monthly financial obligations and create an achievable budget to manage your
income and pay down debt.
2. Determine which Medicare
coverage plan is right for you. Health needs vary by individual. Evaluate
your personal health needs and research each plan to determine the right
amount of coverage. For example, Original Medicare supplies beneficiaries
with Parts A (hospital insurance) and B (medical insurance). However, some
people may need more coverage. Medicare supplement plans are sold by private
companies and can help pay some of the health care costs that Original
Medicare doesn't cover, such as co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles.
Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, is an alternative to Original
Medicare offered by private insurers, and provides Medicare Parts A and B,
plus additional coverage to protect you against health care related debt.
Knowing your options will help you choose the plan that's right for you.
3. Create a plan for monthly health
care payments. Estimate what your financial responsibility is under
Medicare including premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and uncovered expenses
like long-term care. Earmark a portion of your retirement savings and income
to address these out-of-pocket costs.
4. Seek help. Navigating
Medicare Open Enrollment can be difficult but you don't have to do it alone.
Consult a trusted financial adviser for guidance on which plan is right for
your needs and where you can identify savings opportunities.
To download a free booklet on Top Tips for Retirees, including Reducing
Debt in Retirement, Managing Prescription Drug Costs, Selecting a Long-Term
Care Plan, and more, visit www.BankersLife.com/TopTips6.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)