Many seniors do not realize how much older people need to pay for medical costs during retirement. It is commonly believed that Medicare will cover most or all costs once a person turns 65. The reality, however, is there are significant limitations to what Medicare will cover. It won’t pay for nursing home care, for hearing aides, for dental and vision care, and for a variety of other services that seniors may require. Medicare also does not always provide full and comprehensive coverage for all prescription medicines a senior needs.
Because of the fact Medicare isn’t as generous as many people believe it to be, problems arise when older people don’t save as much for medical care as they should. Recent studies suggest that a couple might need to save around $350,000 for their medical care costs over their senior years. This was based upon the researchers calculating costs of supplemental Medicare, as well as calculating costs associated with prescriptions and other services not covered by Medicaid. If a senior couple is in the 90th percentile for prescription use, saving this $350,000 will still only give the couple around a 90 percent chance of making their money last.
Because these costs do not even include long term care, it quickly becomes clear that affording medical care during your golden years is difficult. Medicaid can help to cover costs Medicare doesn’t, but only if you can get covered.