A new study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute finds that Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket prescription drug costs from age 65 on could cost $130,000 if you’re a man and $146,000 for women.
According to an article written by CNBC personal finance correspondent Sarah O’Brien, Medicare only covers about two-thirds of the cost of health-care services for the program’s 62.5 million or so beneficiaries, the majority of whom are age 65 or older (the rest are younger with disabilities or individuals with end-stage renal disease).
Although the numbers in the report are big, they are lower than the institute’s 2019 estimates. “At this point, it’s unclear exactly what will happen to some Medicare costs next year, due to uncertainty over how the pandemic will affect various parts of the program,” says O’Brien. “Already, premiums and deductibles get adjusted each year; copays and other cost-sharing for specific plans can, as well.”
There’s an effort afoot in Congress, added O’Brien, to keep at least one cost from spiking in 2021. While Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) has no premium as long as consumers have at least a 10-year work history of paying into the program, Part B (outpatient care) comes with a standard monthly premium ($144.60 for 2020). A provision in the GOP’s proposed stimulus package, the HEALS Act, would keep that amount in place for next year instead of adjusting it upward. Read the full article.