A 65-year-old couple retiring this year without employer-provided retiree health insurance will need about $215,000 to pay for future medical care-related expenses, according to an analysis by Fidelity Investments.
The amount, up from $200,000 last year, includes such expenses as Medicare premiums, co-payments and deductibles. The ever-increasing tab for retiree health care expenses comes as the number of employers offering retiree health care coverage dwindles, making future retirees liable for a big chunk of their health care costs.
Still, some employers are taking steps to give employees the ability to build up funds on a tax-favorable basis to pay for retiree health care expenses.
More employers are adding health savings accounts linked to high-deductible health insurance plans, notes Brad Kimbler, a senior vice president with Fidelity Employer Services Co., a unit of Boston-based Fidelity. In such arrangements, unused account balances are rolled over year after year, enabling employees to withdraw accumulated balances tax-free to pay for medical expenses when they retire.
The maximum annual contribution in 2007 to an HSA is $2,850 for single coverage and $5,650 for family coverage.
A summary of the study is available at www.fidelity.com.
Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.