If your retirement income does not exceed $88,000 or $176,000 if married, you pay the standard Medicare Parts B and D premium. That includes the great majority of all retirees.
Your standard Medicare premium in 2021 is $148.50. The average Part D premium is $38.00. To protect from Medicare out-of-pocket costs, most people take a supplemental plan, most often Medigap Plan G which covers all Medicare out-of-pocket costs except the Part B deductible; currently $203.00. And, you can use any doctor or facility that takes Medicare which is nearly all.
Medigap Plan G will cost $200 to $240 more or less.
Thus the typical retiree should plan for at least $416.00 in monthly premiums, but little out-of-pocket costs for medical care.
Your potential out-of-pocket prescription costs under Part D of Medicare vary based on the plan you select and the type of drugs you take. Generics save money and may not be subject to a deductible or co-pay. Some retirees find using something like GoodRx is less expensive than using their prescription plan.
Once you and your Part D plan spend $4,130 combined on drugs (including deductible), you’ll pay no more than 25% of the cost for prescription drugs until your out-of-pocket spending is $6,550, under the standard drug benefit. Remember, that is not spending from your pocket alone, the $6,550 includes your co-pay, and the required discount provided by the manufacturer.
Here is an example from Medicare.gov
“Mrs. Anderson reaches the coverage gap in her Medicare drug plan. She goes to her pharmacy to fill a prescription for a covered brand-name drug. The price for the drug is $60, and there’s a $2 dispensing fee that gets added to the cost, making the total price $62. Mrs. Anderson pays 25% of the total cost ($62 x .25 = $15.50).
The amount Mrs. Anderson pays ($15.50) plus the manufacturer discount payment of $42 ($60 x .70 = $42) count as out-of-pocket spending. So, $57.50 counts as out-of-pocket spending and helps Mrs. Anderson get out of the coverage gap. The remaining $4.50, which is 5% of the drug cost ($3) and 75% of the dispensing fee ($1.50) paid by the drug plan, doesn’t count toward Mrs. Anderson’s out-of-pocket spending.”
Catastrophic coverage refers to the point when your total prescription drug costs for a calendar year have reached a set maximum level ($6,550 in 2021, up from $6,350 in 2020). At this point, you are out of the prescription drug “donut hole” and your prescription drug coverage begins paying for most of your drug expenses.
Once you’ve reached the catastrophic coverage threshold in 2021, you’ll pay $3.70 for generic drugs and $9.20 for brand-name drugs, or 5 percent of the total drug cost, whichever is higher (the dollar amounts are adjusted for inflation each year).
Long-term care is not covered by Medicare and for which insurance is expensive and becoming less available.
LTC is custodial or maintenance care for those who are unable to perform the basic functions of daily living for themselves. LTC in a nursing home can easily cost $100,000 a year or more. However, the majority of LTC is provided outside of a facility, mostly at home, (mostly by unpaid caregivers). Only 4.5 percent (about 1.5 million) of older adults live in nursing homes and 2 percent (1 million) in assisted living facilities.
Your medical and family history are factors in determining your risk. Your total financial planning should consider this risk.