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Retiree Health Care Costs Vary Widely Between States

August 10, 2015

Health care costs are a major concern for those approaching retirement: Three out of four preretirees say they have a high level of concern over them, according to a Merrill Lynch report cited by Time magazine. Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on your desired destination — the cheapest and priciest states one may retire to don’t line up when it comes to health care expenditure.

Citing analysis by HealthView Services, a designer of health care cost-projection programs, the publication finds Hawaii is the cheapest state when it comes to retirees’ health care — despite otherwise being the most expensive state in the Union in which to live.

The 20-year projected health care cost for a 65-year-old in Hawaii is $112,528, compared to the $152,175 projected for a retiree in Michigan, the most expensive state for health care, the HealthView study found.

There is even more discrepancy when health costs are broken down. Medicare supplemental insurance, which covers co-pays and deductibles, will set back a Maryland retiree 57% more than one in Vermont, while Medicare Part D, which applies to prescription drugs, will run 51% more in Wisconsin than in New York, Time writes, citing the study.

Retirees looking for warmer climes are in luck, at least when it comes to health care costs, as New Mexico, Georgia and South Carolina are some of the cheapest states in terms of retiree health care, Time points out. Sunshine-state Florida, however — along with Michigan, Nevada and Maryland — tops the list for health care costliness.

But there’s a sliver of good news for retirees: According to recent research cited by Time, the very act of retiring makes people healthier and happier — at least initially.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Time article cited in this story, click here.