Medicare only covers about half of a typical person’s health care costs. Medicare does not cover nursing home care or long-term home care, hearing aids, vision care or dental care. Most people would be shocked to know that the average out-of-pocket cost for people with Medicare was $4,734 in 2010. This represents a sizeable portion of the annual income of the typical person with Medicare.
Certain subpopulations of people Medicare are at risk of having to spend more than $5,000 a year on their care. People over 85 spend three times more out of pocket, $5,962, than people between the ages of 65 and 74, $1,926. And women spend on average more than men, $5,036 as compared to $4,363.
People who need substantial amounts of health care, about 13 million people, or one in four people with Medicare, typically spend $11,500 on their care. This can easily represent more than half of their income.
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