Health Care Costs for Retirees.

How much should retirees expect to spend on health care throughout the rest of their lives? Estimates vary, ranging from about $250,000 a couple to $500,000, depending on longevity, health status and location.

Some are even higher after including nursing home costs, but those costs will depend in part on a couple’s long-term care insurance — whether either or both members have it and exactly what their policies cover.

Other factors that impact retirees’ health care costs include Medicare Part B and Part D premiums, which tend to increase annually and vary based on income, medication costs and the costs, coverage and deductibles for Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans.

In 2019, couples with an annual income above $170,000 — and singles with income above $85,000 — are subject to surcharges added to their premiums for Medicare Parts B and D. Starting in 2020, however, those surcharges will be linked to inflation for the first time in 10 years, which could slow the number of retiree’s subject to the surcharges.

But even those retirees, like most others, will have to contend with rising health care costs unless major policy changes are enacted.

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