How to Research Healthcare Costs in Retirement

How to Research Healthcare in Retirement
You should always plan for retirement. Most importantly, plan for your healthcare costs.

Moving to a new location brings up a lot of questions that need to be answered. Where will I go for basic shopping trips? How’s the cost of living going to change my lifestyle? Will I like the new location?

But one of the most important questions you should be asking is how your healthcare costs are going to change.

Aside from the vital decision of simply choosing a new doctor, being prepared for changing healthcare costs is crucial to a  financially secure and healthy retirement lifestyle. Avoid the surprises and find out how much your healthcare will actually cost. But first…

Check With Your Insurance Company

If you have a private health insurance provider then you shouldn’t have a problem finding how relocating to a new state will alter your health care costs. The larger national insurers—like UnitedHealth Group and Humana—have estimators that provide a price range for specific types of care. Check with your health provider and see if they have an online tool for estimating costs.

Try a Medicare Cost Calculator

Most retirees, however, will depend upon Medicare to cover most of their health expenditures. The AARP provides an extremely easy to use calculator that takes your specific health situation, age, and retirement status and gives you an estimate of what your total health care costs will be, how much will be covered by Medicare, and what the shortage will be. The best part is that you can adjust the findings by state, allowing for direct comparisons between locations, all other variables being the same.

Shop Around For a Doctor

There are plentiful resources available for finding the right doctor, no matter where you’re looking to relocate. Health in Reach is an excellent resource for searching for specific doctors (searchable by city) and seeing what they charge for certain procedures. The Healthcare Bluebook is another terrific resource for determining the right price for specific care. It provides the average cost of certain procedures by area. This is helpful because it gives a baseline for what you can expect to pay after you’ve relocated.

Discover Other Providers

Not sure if your provider is giving you the best deal? NewChoiceHealth compares your provider’s prices against the industry average in your area. For a more general overview of how your provider compares to others, Consumer Affairs compiles an annual list of the best health care providers in the country while U.S. News has a tool to walk you through your healthcare options in each state given your situation.

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