Seniors Are Spending Almost Half Their Social Security on Healthcare Expenses
No matter what your age, health care is always going to be one of the biggest expenses you can face – but as we age the amount that we spend on health care each year and even each month will grow exponentially. Considering most seniors are retired and live off of retirement savings and social security, the rising cost of healthcare is extremely concerning.
“We were fairly stunned by the numbers,” said Tricia Neuman, senior vice president and director of the Program on Medicare Policy at the foundation.
According to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, out-of-pocket health care costs for Medicare beneficiaries are likely to continue to grow, taking up half or more of the average Social Security income by 2030.
In 2013, the average Social Security income for Medicare beneficiaries was $13,375 – and the total income was $35,317. While Medicare reports that about 20 percent of their total income was spent on health care expenses that year, data made available exclusively to The Washington Post determined that when you include all the true expenses seniors are already spending about 41 percent of their Social Security income on medical expenses.
“This is substantially higher than the share reported by the Medicare actuaries for the same year (23 percent) because it takes into account the full array of out-of-pocket health expenses that people on Medicare face,” according to the report. The Medicare Trustees looked at the financial burden associated with Medicare Part B and Part D premiums and cost sharing, but not other health expenses.
Kaiser made their projections (50 percent or more of Social Security spent on health care by 2030) based on current laws, assuming that there will be no major changes made to either Medicare policies (which could affect out-of-pocket costs), Social Security, or tax policy, any of which could impact their estimate.
The truth is, seniors are spending more on health care than any other generation – but they can’t afford to pay for it any more than the younger generations can; and it’s only going to get worse until ways to lower health care costs (like introducing medical marijuana, a low cost, safe and effective medicine) are truly considered.