Healthcare costs in retirement expected to increase

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Healthcare costs in retirement expected to increase
Healthcare costs in retirement expected to increase

Healthcare costs are expected to continue rising faster than inflation and Social Security, according to a recent report.

HealthView Services' 2017 Retirement Health Care Costs Data Report projected rising healthcare expenses based on 70 million healthcare cases and actuarial, government and economic data. This is HealthView Services' third annual data report.

One of the largest causes for the rising healthcare costs is retirement healthcare inflation for Medicare Parts B and D, supplemental insurance and cost-sharing. The report predicts that healthcare costs will increase at a rate of 5.47%, which is triple what the inflation rate was for 2012 to 2016. This rate is also twice the expected Social Security cost-of-living adjustments.

The report predicts that the total lifetime average premiums for a healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year will be $321,994 in today's dollars, including Medicare Parts B and D; supplemental insurance and dental insurance. Adding deductibles, co-pays, hearing, vision and dental cost-sharing increases the amount to $404,253 in today's dollars.

Estimates may be higher for women because they live longer, on average.

These projected rising costs are not new, the report authors said, noting that costs have been increasing in recent years. In 2016, Medicare Part B premiums increased by 16%, they said, and although Part B costs were predicted to decrease in 2017 by 24%, they still increased by 10%.

Part D premiums also grew by 8% from 2016 to 2017. Part D costs are expected to continue growing at this rate for the next year, according to the report authors. In addition to this basic inflation, age-related increases mean that supplemental insurance is predicted to rise by 7.12% annually.

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