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Fidelity Updates Retiree Health Forecast

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A 65-year-old couple retiring in 2008 may need about $240,000 to cover medical costs in retirement.

Consultants at Fidelity Investments, Boston, have published that estimate in Fidelity’s latest post-retirement health cost forecast.

The latest estimate is 6.7% higher than the estimate Fidelity published in 2008.

Since Fidelity first calculated the cost in 2002, the figure has risen a total of 50%.

The estimate does not include the cost of over-the-counter medications, most dental services or long term care.

The estimate assumes individuals do not have employer-sponsored retiree health coverage It does include the expenses associated with Medicare Part B and D premiums, Medicare cost-sharing provisions and prescription drug out-of-pocket costs.

The increase in costs between 2008 and 2009 is due in part to increases in the cost of services, such as diagnostic tests; the cost of using new medical technology; and general price inflation.