Medical Expenses Leaving More Retirees In Poverty

Retirement is supposed to be a time to relax and do all the things you couldn’t while in the job market. However, shocking new data indicates that the poverty rate among American retirees surged during recent years. This shows why saving for retirement is very important, since you may not always be able to utilize a bad credit loan to get out of a financial jam. The poverty rate of retirees between the ages of 65 and 74 rose to 9.4 percent in 2022, up from 7.9 percent in 2018, according to data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Older retirees, between the ages of 75 and 84, had a poverty rate of 10.7 percent. That’s up from 7.6 percent during the same period. Those above the age of 85 had the highest rate at 14.6 percent.

Medical Expenses Leaving More Retirees With Bad Credit In PovertyThe rising trend of older retirees falling deeper into poverty was not surprising to some experts, according to U.S. News and World Report. Due to the rising life expectancy rate, many older Americans need to spend more on medical expenses and make their savings last longer than expected.

A majority of older retirees who have fallen below the poverty line have serious medical conditions, such as cancer, lung disease, heart problems and strokes. Meanwhile, 96 percent said they have other conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, psychological problems and arthritis. In contrast, just 48 percent of retired Americans above the poverty lines had similar ailments.

How Much Do Retirees Need Saved For Medical Expenses?

According to a recent report from Fidelity, retired couples who would leave the job market this year will need an average of $240,000 just to cover health-related expenses. However, the frightening part is most retirees don’t even have that much saved for the entirety of their retirement .…

Fix Medical Bill Problems Before They Worsen

Regardless of whether people have health insurance or not, understanding the medical billing process can be confusing. Many people have difficulty determining what their insurance company may be responsible for paying and what, if any, cost for which they are responsible.

Because of their sudden nature, medical bills are also one reason people may turn to payday advance loans to avoid falling behind on their payments or creating further problems.

The combination of those factors may be part of the reason why medical bills are a contributing factor in more than 60 percent of personal bankruptcies, according to a Harvard University study. Of those people, more than 90 percent had medical bills of more than $5,000.

However, some of these issues may not even be the fault of consumers. Insurance companies and hospitals can also make billing mistakes. Health insurance experts told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that consumers should take preventative steps so they don’t end up paying for those errors.

Check health insurance information
One of the first steps officials relayed was that, when possible, you should confirm your health insurance information with the doctor or hospital before undergoing treatment.

Ensuring they have up-to-date information prevents situations in which a doctor thought your insurance would pay for something, but it didn’t, or vice versa. Having the correct insurance information also helps avoid the questions that may result if the doctor attempts to bill and old insurance company

Double check your bill
If you receive a bill for medical treatment, check it against the health insurance information you have to double check all of the paperwork.

Too often, people receive their benefits forms from their insurers, put them them in file cabinet and then never look at them again. This could be a mistake.

This review has two parts. First, you confirm that your health insurance firm paid their part correctly. However, you can also check to make sure that the doctor or hospital billed for the correct procedure. Mistakes happen everywhere, so it never hurts to double check.

Look for assistance, where available
If you know it will be difficult to pay for a medical bill but can’t avoid it, be upfront about the situation. Doctors and hospitals are used to dealing with insurance companies and may be able to help you find lower-cost treatments that work better with your budget. Low-cost alternatives, such as generic medications, can make a big difference when your budget is already strained.

It’s also common for healthcare providers to create payment plans or find other solutions to help you pay your bills. If you can’t afford to make the payment in full at that time, being honest about it will save a great deal of time and effort later on.

You should also ask for help from other sources if you need to. There are many charitable organizations and other programs aimed at helping people pay for medical costs. Doctors may even be able to see if you qualify for any in your local area.…