It’s certainly nice to finally put your feet up and relax once you’ve retired.
Unfortunately, the bills just keep on coming, even though you’re no longer working.
This means you should think about your retirement funds well in advance to make sure you can still enjoy the same standard of living.
And remember, one of the most important things you’ll need as you grow older is health insurance.
How much you’ll have to put away for retirement to cover healthcare costs will really depend on your specific lifestyle and situation. According to Fidelity Investments, a married couple may need as much as $240,000, and most of this is just to cover the costs of their health care.
If you’re starting to prepare for retirement, there are several ways in which you can save on your health care costs.
There’s no time like the present
If you really want to cut your costs down there’s no need to procrastinate. Your best bet is to start putting money away now. One of the best ways to do this is to open up a health savings account (HSA). These tax-advantaged accounts are an ideal way to save money and earn interest on it while paying for qualified medical bills. Any money that isn’t used will simply stay in the account and roll over to the next year. There are numerous benefits with a HSA and those who are between 55 and 65 years of age are allowed to save an additional $1,000 each year in the account.
Do you have enough coverage?
As you grow older your health care needs often change. In general, people need to add health insurance coverage to their existing policies, but in some instances you may actually be paying for coverage you don’t need or use. It’s a good idea to sit down with a licensed health insurance agent and go over your health plan with a fine-toothed comb to see if you need additional benefits or can cut some out. You may be better off with a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan when you retire rather than original Medicare as they provide additional benefits.
Come to grips on the Affordable Care Act
There will be several new health insurance laws in place when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. Most seniors will benefit from the reforms and it’s important to know the details. For instance, you’ll be able to receive preventive care without having to take care of a co-payment out of your own pocket or any other fee.
On the other hand, if you’re visiting a health care provider for preventive reasons and you receive an additional service or procedure at the same time, you might be required to pay. It’s a good idea to know exactly what your financial responsibilities are before getting treatment.
Keep your eye out for a better deal
Just because you have a Medicare plan in place doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it for life. Keep on top of what’s on the market each and every year during the program’s open enrollment period. You’ll find that health insurance providers may release new policies and discard some of the older ones.
Of course, they may also raise the rates. Take the time to compare all of your options to make sure you’re getting the best possible coverage at the best possible price.
Know what your health plan does and doesn’t cover
When you retire it’s important to know exactly what Medicare and any other health plan you may have covers. Be sure you know if anything like long-term nursing home care is provided and what the costs are. While it’s impossible to predict if this type of care will ever be needed, it may certainly be worth paying a little extra for if it isn’t too costly. Without coverage, the cost of staying in a nursing home could be astronomical.