Prices for gas, food and housing have skyrocketed in the last year. Less noticeable, to some, is the rising cost of health care.
Medicare, the U.S. government’s national health insurance program for Americans age 65 and over, imposed a 14.5% increase in premiums for Part B (outpatient care coverage) for 2022, a record high and nearly double the March reading of the annual U.S. rate for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Rising health-care inflation can have major consequences for current and future retirees, as medical expenses are expected to take up an ever greater share of retirees’ income. “When you have to prioritize your living expenses versus health care, that’s a major problem,” said Kathy Martin, a 50-year-old resident of New York state, when asked what worries her most about health-care costs.
Martin works out a few times a week with seniors who are part of the Silver Sneakers fitness program at her local gym in Somers, New York. Her classmate Laura Rodriguez, 67, shares her concern. “What’s going to happen when I get older, you know?” she said. “How am I going to be able to pay for the care that I need?”
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