Planning for Medicare

Retirement health care costs will vary depending on your health and longevity, but it may help to have a guideline.

A man turning 65 in 2022 would have needed $166,000 saved to have a 90% chance of meeting average prescription drug costs through retirement. A woman turning 65 in 2022 would have needed $197,000 saved to meet the same goal. (Higher numbers reflect the fact that women tend to live longer than men, on average.) For a married couple, the estimate is slightly lower: $363,000. (Estimates provided by the Employee Benefits Research Institute.)

These estimates take Medicare Part B health insurance, Part D prescription drug coverage, Medigap Plan F and median out-of-pocket drug costs into account.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) are collectively known as Original Medicare. This pairing offers broad coverage, but doesn’t include a number of services.

Additional expenses may be fully or partially covered by two additional policies:  Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan) which replaces Original Medicare or a Medigap policy, which supplements Original Medicare. 

Both are offered by Medicare Part C and Medigap policies are provided by Medicare-approved private insurers. If you want supplemental Medicare coverage, you must choose one of the two, you cannot have both.

Planning for medical expenses with Medicare

Whether you are planning for Medicare in the future or are already enrolled, it’s important to consider these potential expenses since there is no annual out-of-pocket maximum for Medicare.

As you consider these expenses, remember that Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans may cover all or part of these costs and may also include an out-of-pocket maximum.


For prescription drug coverage, you need to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage.

Dental and vision care.

Original Medicare does not cover routine dental or vision care. Some Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans may offer this coverage. Private insurance may also be an option.

Hearing care and hearing aids.

Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover hearing aids and exams.

Medical care outside of the United States.

Original Medicare does not pay for medical expenses incurred outside of the United States. Some Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans offer coverage for emergency care abroad. If you don’t have either of these plans (or private insurance), research health care at your destination. Once you have a better understanding of what a potential health emergency might cost, consider purchasing a travel insurance policy.

Long-Term Care.
Medicare does not cover nursing homes or other types of “custodial” at-home health care. If you think you might need this type of care, consider long-term care insurance (some life insurance policies offer life-term care riders).

If you aren’t sure how medical expenses may factor into your retirement, Bogart Wealth can help. We may also be able to refer you to experts in insurance coverage who can assist you if you’re interested in supplemental coverage. To discuss your options, schedule a consultation today.

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