One of the main concerns of anybody who is retired or nearing retirement is how to pay for medical expenses. Research shows that a healthy 65 year old couple can expect to pay somewhere around $305,000 in out of pocket medical expenses during the course of their retirement—and that’s a healthy couple! With expenses like this staring them in the face, it’s no wonder senior citizens are concerned about Medicare.

For those who don’t know, Medicare is a government administered insurance program providing health insurance coverage to people aged 65 and older, or to disabled persons who meet certain qualifications. The Medicare program has many parts which variably cover hospital insurance, medical insurance, and more recently, some prescription drug costs. The Medicare program has proven to be a valuable resource for senior citizens since it was signed into law in 1965, but the program is far from perfect or comprehensive. This, plus recent developments with the health care reform bill have many people asking questions about the future of health care insurance for retirees.

To help answer these growing concerns about health care costs and the Medicare program, Time Magazine has published a special article about how to navigate the Medicare maze. One of the most valuable portions of this article is “When—and How—to Enroll in Medicare”, but the article discusses other important issues such as:

  • Medicare’s Part A, B, D and More
  • How Medigap Policies Can Help
  • When to Buy Long-Term-Care Insurance

Still, the best way to assure that you are getting the right medical coverage for yourself or your spouse during your retirement is to talk to a professional. Federal and State sponsored health insurance programs offer necessary help and coverage—but they can be fraught with confusing procedures and enrollment difficulties. Your estate planning or elder law attorney will be able to help you with the process. Don’t wait until it’s too late.