Medicare households burdened with high health care costs

November 6, 2023

Are you concerned about the rising cost of health care as you get older?

You’re not alone.

 A recent study shows that those on Medicare are spending quite a bit more money than those who aren’t on Medicare.

In 2021, Medicare households spent double on health care compared to people who weren’t on Medicare, according to KHN. Medicare households include Americans 65 and older and younger people with disabilities. Health care expenses took up 15% of Medicare households’ total spending, an average of $6,557.

Non-Medicare households spent just 7%, or about $4,590 on average. These health care expenses include everything from insurance premiums and medical services to prescription drugs, hearing aids and eyeglasses.

The study found that 1 in 3 Medicare households spent 20% or more of their total household income on health-related expenses.

For many older Americans, health care affordability is a genuine concern. There are steps being taken to help, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, which is designed to limit prescription drug costs. Lawmakers are also looking at expanding who would be eligible for the federal Medicare Savings Program and adding an out-of-pocket cap on cost-sharing for benefits covered by Medicare.

Are you on Medicare or have you seen your health care costs climb? Share how the costs have affected your budget.