Older Americans can look forward to a few modest wins on reducing healthcare costs this year. Congress enacted legislation that lowers some prescription drug costs, particularly a $35 per month, per insulin prescription cap. In addition, Medicare reduced the amount of the Part B premium to $164.90 from $170.10. Yet seniors still face high uncertainty over their costs this year. Medicare helps to reduce the risk, but premiums take a significant portion of income, and the program does not cover a surprisingly high amount of out-of-pocket expenses.
According to TSCL Senior Surveys, we are forecasting that in 2023:
- 50% of our members and supporters will spend up to $4,800 for premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and for services such as dental and eye exams that are not covered by Medicare.
- 30% will spend more than $4,800 up to $12,828.
- 20% will spend more than $12,828 — particularly those who need costly long term care, hospitalization, or to undergo therapies for very serious chronic health conditions.
Our estimates are based on answers provided by more than 3,000 participants in our 2022 Senior Survey. As people age, healthcare costs not only take a significant portion of retiree income, but the portion grows deeper over time with the development of new health conditions. This occurs at the same time retirees spend down their savings, which can leave those who have been retired the longest without adequate income, even for essentials.
These findings are critical to helping TSCL make the case to Congress why older Americans need a more secure Social Security income, and to defend Social Security and Medicare benefits from legislative proposals that would cut benefits or increase beneficiary costs.
You can participate by telling us about your healthcare costs in 2022 in our 2023 Senior Survey at www.SeniorsLeague.org/2023seniorsurvey.