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Even with Medicare, seniors pay and pay

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A new study by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research shows that although they may be covered by Medicare once they reach the age of 65, seniors may still face steep out-of-pocket health care expenses in retirement.

According to the study, the average 65-year-old couple with no chronic health conditions will be forced to pay $197,000 for out-of-pocket expenses throughout their retirement.

The figure accounts for premium costs, co-payments, uncovered expenses (such as dental, hearing and eye care), long term care and health care inflation but does not include nursing-home care.

A recent Fidelity Investments study resulted in similarly large numbers. That company determined that a couple who were both 65 in 2009 would need nearly $240,000 to cover retirement medical expenses.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute concluded that the same couple would need $210,000 to have a 50 percent chance of covering health expenses and $338,000 to have a 90 percent chance of doing so.


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