No evidence suggests boomers approaching age 65 will be forced to reduce their living standards due to medical expenses, according to new research from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a struggle before they are eligible for Medicare and especially if they have a medical condition.
More than two-fifths of households age 51 to 64 have two or more medical conditions per adult member. The presence of two or more medical conditions per capital increase health expenses excluding premiums for boomers by 63 percent, while the presence of four or more conditions increases these expenses by 206 percent.
Still, research shows, medical conditions, in general, do not reduce spending on non-health items.
These findings, however, do no resonate with lower-income boomers, those with per capita income less than $20,000. Having two or more medical conditions among these households reduces total expenditure, medical and non-medical, by at least 30 percent.
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“High out-of-pocket health care costs may have serious repercussions for older people and their families. If their incomes are not sufficient to cover these expenses, older adults with health problems may have to deplete their savings, turn to family and friends for financial help, or forego necessary care,” according to the Center.