As costs continue to rise, here’s how to keep pace
By Heather Drago, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
May 15, 2018 — How much will a couple retiring in 2018 need for health care costs? That’s what this recent Fidelity Investments report discusses. According to Fidelity, $280,000 is what a 65-year old couple retiring this year is projected to pay in health care and medical expenses throughout retirement.
By making smart choices now, you may be able to experience healthier outcomes later in life. Some suggestions:
- Understand how your coverage works. Review your health care coverage and take advantage of preventive services, which may be covered at 100 percent. Preventive services may include a routine physical, PAP or mammography, colonoscopy, osteoporosis screening, flu and pneumonia vaccinations.
- Prepare for potential health care costs. Set up your own personal bank account to save for and track health care expenses. It may also help to understand shared expenses, such as the annual deductible and out-of-pocket limit, copay and office visit charges as well as emergency service costs.
- Use available wellness resources such as smoking cessation, diabetes prevention and weight management programs to help prevent or manage medical conditions.
- Talk with your doctor. It is OK to ask your doctor why tests and medications are needed and to research care options together. Questions to ask:
- Do I really need the recommended test or procedure? What are the risks if I decline or delay treatment?
- Is there a less-expensive treatment, procedure or medication alternative? Your health plan may have a tool to help you research the cost of recommended services.
- What are the side effects and risks of the medication, procedure or test? Is there a simpler, safer option available such as a change in diet or exercise plan?
For additional resources, visit the Wellness Programs and Resources section of the OPERS website.