Santa Ana estate planning attorney – You may be surprised to learn that when a person turns 65, they can expect to see a decrease in their healthcare costs. A recent study showed that becoming eligible for Medicare at age 65 significantly reduces an individual’s out-of-pocket spending and catastrophic health care expenditure. The strong evidence presented by this study indicates the important role that Medicare plays in reducing the financial burden of healthcare for older adults. Additionally, it also provides a strong argument for lowering the Medicare eligibility age.
This study was conducted over a five-year period from 2014 to 2018. It included 24,700 individuals aged 57 to 73 years of age. It accounted for all of their out-of-pocket health care costs during the five-year period, including:
- Health care expenses not covered by insurance
Data from the study indicated that adults in their 60s face a significant financial burden when paying for health care. These costs account for 40 percent of their total income, often the largest spending category after food and housing.
Specifically, the study found that when a person becomes eligible for Medicare, their out-of-pocket medical costs are reduced by 27 percent. Also, their risk of facing catastrophic health care expenses is lowered by 35 percent. In addition, the study found that the number of people who delayed medical care due to cost was reduced by 17 percent after reaching the age of Medicare eligibility.
One of the main reasons that health care costs are so high for older adults is that high-deductible commercial health insurance plans have become increasingly common. While these types of plans may offer lower premiums, they have high out-of-pocket costs and place a greater financial burden on older adults who are more likely to require medical care.
If you are an older adult who is not yet eligible for Medicare and are concerned about healthcare costs, there are ways that you can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. These may include:
- Understanding and comparing health insurance plans — Many plans with low monthly premiums have high deductibles, high out-of-pocket maximums, and limited coverage. Be sure that you understand your options and contact health insurance providers if you have questions. This way, you can choose a plan that is well-suited to your individual health care needs.
- Negotiating lower costs with your healthcare provider — If you cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs for a service, you may be able to request a lower price directly from your provider.
Unaffordable health care is detrimental to the physical and financial well-being of older generations. This study has proven that lowering the Medicare eligibility age would reduce the financial burden of health care on older adults and prevent health risks that arise from delaying or foregoing required care.
If you are an older adult who is being faced with medical expenses you cannot afford, you need the assistance of a knowledgeable Santa Ana estate planning attorney. Our attorneys can help you understand and evaluate your options so that you can continue to get the medical care you need. Simply contact our Orange County law firm at (800) 244-8814 to schedule an appointment.