Most people look forward to enrolling in Medicare. After all, traditional Medicare gives you a wide choice of doctors and hospitals anywhere in the country. And if you have supplemental coverage to fill gaps, you have virtually no out-of-pocket costs for medical and hospital services. But, even with Medicare, people typically spend more than $4,000 a year for care Medicare does not pay for.
A new report for the Commonwealth Fund by Cathy Schoen, Karen Davis and Amber Willink reveals that millions of the 56 million people with Medicare spend a sizable portion of their income on health care. Here’s some of what they found:
- More than one in four people with Medicare–15 million people–spend 20 percent or more of their income on premiums and health care costs Medicare does not cover, including 40 percent of people with incomes between 100 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
- People with Medicare spend an average of $3,024 on health care costs Medicare does not cover, in addition to premiums.
- Medicare supplemental coverage or “Medigap” typically costs $2,400 a year.
- If you do not have supplemental coverage, the Medicare hospital deductible alone is $1,300, and you pay 20 percent of Medicare’s approved cost for all medical care.
- People without supplemental coverage spend an average of $5,374 on health care costs Medicare does not cover.
- Only about half of people with incomes under 100 percent of the federal poverty level have full Medicaid to cover costs that Medicare does not cover. About 11 million people with incomes under 135 percent of the federal poverty level have either full Medicaid or partial Medicaid, through the Medicare Savings Program, which helps with premiums and copays.
Here’s more from Just Care: