Increasing coverage amounts for Medicare users do not always meet the rising cost of medical care in the United States. For instance, Medicare coverage might increase by 4% while the average cost of treatment goes up by 5%.
Consequently, there is a financial gap between what the program covers and what seniors need. Seniors fund it themselves, which strains their already tight budgets.
How will this affect aging adults, especially those that are already vulnerable financially?
Looking for additional cover
Upon understanding that original Medicare will not cover their medical expenses, seniors should start looking for alternatives to supplement this coverage. It will decrease the financial burden of copayments and services not covered by Medicare.
Original Medicare only covers Parts A and B, which relate to hospitalization and doctors’ consultations. But what of other services that seniors need? And how do seniors pay the crippling copayments when their benefits do not pay out in full?
MediSupps owner, Russell Noga, says that seniors are experiencing real challenges meeting their financial obligations regarding healthcare. However, by investing in the Medicare Supplement Plans will offer, older adults will cut many such expenses out of their budgets. These plans augment Parts A and B coverage and make it more comprehensive.
Seniors stop looking after themselves
Faced with the prospect of high medical bills they cannot afford, many seniors stop seeking medical treatment. They do not go for regular checkups and might go as far as not taking prescription medication because they cannot afford it.
Easily treatable conditions become worse and could have fatal consequences. Older adults avoid going to the hospital for surgeries that could enhance their quality of life, such as joint replacements.
What inevitably follows is older people dying a lot sooner than they should, simply because they could not afford the medical intervention they need. This has become an everyday occurrence, a type of epidemic that no one wants to talk about.
Seniors end up relying on their children
If you ask any retired adult about their worst fear, many will say that it is becoming a financial burden on their children. However, it is a reality for a growing number of seniors because they cannot afford their medical care in conjunction with other regular expenses, such as food and shelter.
Given the current state of the economy, most people around the country are struggling, and millions have lost their jobs. Therefore, even if they wanted to help their parents, they cannot afford it. Some are going into debt just to keep their households running and have no additional money to pay their parents’ medical bills. It devastates them to see their parents struggling, but their hands are tied.
Seniors cannot plan for long-term care
It is estimated that more than 70% of Americans over 65 will need long-term care support, whether from an in-home caregiver or at a facility. Neither of these services comes cheap, and few seniors have enough retirement savings to cover the costs.
For example, staying at a long-term care facility can cost roughly $100,000, and more if an older adult wants a private room. Therefore, financial planners advise that they take out long-term care coverage in preparation for the prospect of needing that assistance.
However, if healthcare costs keep rising, and seniors struggle to make ends meet, they cannot afford the premiums for such coverage, even though they are not that expensive.
Too many seniors live hand-to-mouth, their meager savings already depleted, relying solely on Social Security benefits that do not cover their financial needs. Without additional Medicare cover, their futures look even more bleak.