As I become increasingly familiar with the Baby Boomer demographics, I have become proportionately concerned about the status of Medicare here in the USA. While the spotlight is firmly focused on Social Security, I think that we just may be fiddling while Rome burns.
Yes, Social Security definitely has its issues. But, what about the cost of health care? Historically health care costs go up at a rate greater than the rate of inflation. Digest these facts about the financial condition of health care in the USA:
- Current health care spending is 6.8% of a family’s household expenditures
- Current health care spending for those over age 65 is 12.6% of household expenditures
- Employer health benefit costs are expected to rise 9% in 2010
- Employer health benefit costs are expected to rise 8.9% on 2011
- The typical employees’ wages will not be keeping up with the cost of health care
- Employers are increasingly passing a greater share of health care costs to employees
- Companies that are going through bankruptcy are terminating health benefit plans for existing employees
Something’s got to give. As the Baby Boomers age and health care costs continue to rise at a rate greater than inflation, we circle back to the same old question. How are we going to pay for Baby Boomer health care?
I guess that is some of what Health Care Reform is supposed to do. No wonder there was so much talk about what type of health care costs to fund! And that discussion about end of life health care, -the truth is that ‘the system’ may not be able to afford our ever-increasing longevity.
No matter what is acknowledged publicly, those who crafted our Health Care Reform bill had to discuss when to ‘pull the plug’ on seniors and their end of life health care funding.
Jane Nowak is a Financial Planner with Kring Financial Management located in Atlanta, Ga. Jane’s practice focuses on Women’s Retirement Planning and Financial Planning for Women. Her articles have been published on line at NASDAQ, Financial Planning Association and Womenetics.com. Follow Jane on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/moneygal2020