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Planning for health care costs as you age

Health care can be expensive, and figuring out how you’ll pay for it as you age can feel overwhelming. However, making a plan and doing some research to understand the insurance system and your options can be worth the effort. 

Explore insurance options

Check to see what insurance benefits are available to you, including Medicare or retiree medical coverage. If you haven’t purchased long-term care (LTC) insurance, remember that neither private medical insurance nor Medicare provides long-term care services. 
What’s Medicare? 
Medicare is a federal health insurance program created for people aged 65 or older, certain younger people with qualifying disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). It offers different options for health care coverage: Medicare Parts A, B, and D, as well as Medicare Advantage and "Medigap" supplemental insurance plans. 
Navigating the Medicare program can be confusing—for just about everyone. Read Senior health care insurance & payment options to learn more about the different Medicare options and what they cover.  
Once you select a Medicare plan, it's not forever. You can make changes during the Annual Enrollment period, whether you’re adding or reducing coverage. 

Plan for out-of-pocket expenses

Even though Medicare may cover quite a bit, you’ll still need to pay for premiums and some health costs out-of-pocket. Paying for health care and insurance premiums should be part of your larger financial management discussions. It could also help to talk with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) when figuring out your finances.  
If savings aren’t available to pay for health care costs, discussing your needs with family members could be worthwhile, especially if they can and want to assist. Or, if that’s not an option, look into community resources. For example, Administration for Community Living provides links to a range of support services to help you live successfully in your community and helps you determine if you’re eligible for federal benefits. 
Gerontological social workers can also help connect you with financial aid resources and help you fill out paperwork. 
Prescription costs 
It’s helpful to know prescription costs can vary based on the pharmacy you use. There’re smartphone apps and websites available to help you search pharmacies for the lowest price on your medication—some even include coupons for your specific medication. 
Pharmacy membership clubs can also help you save money. Ask your local pharmacy or search online to compare pharmacy savings club options. However, it’s important to note there’s usually a fee for a membership club. You’ll want to make sure the discount on the prescription offsets the monthly or yearly membership fee.  

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Fidelity Medicare Services®

For residents in select states, enroll in the right Medicare plan for you with help from Fidelity Medicare Services®.
Fidelity Medicare Services® is operated by Fidelity Health Insurance Services, LLC (“FHIS”), and FMR LLC (“FMR”) is the parent company of FHIS. Unless otherwise indicated, the information and items published in this document are provided by FHIS for informational purposes only and are not intended as tax, legal, or investment advice. Fidelity Medicare Services ("FMS") and Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC ("FBS") are separate business entities. FMS is not a product or service of FBS. Other than certain demographic information such as name, address and date of birth, the information you provide to FMS or FBS will not be shared with the other entity. Therefore, if you want FBS to consider the information you have provided to FMS in your investment planning with FBS, you must separately provide that information to FBS. FHIS earns a commission paid by the insurance company based on your enrollment in a health plan. FHIS agents and representatives are not compensated based on your enrollment in a health plan and do not receive commissions from third-party insurance companies.

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.

Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.