Moving Blind: Pre-Retirees May Overlook Healthcare Costs When Relocating
New research shows that adults planning to relocate after retirement are more concerned about the weather than healthcare costs.
Washington, DC (PRWEB) November 27, 2007 — When it comes to moving after retirement, Americans may be missing significant new costs, according to new national research from Longevity Alliance. The new opinion poll, conducted by Harris Interactive(r), found that U.S. adults aged 40+ who plan on relocating after they retire may overlook how their healthcare costs could change from one location to the next.
Specifically, about three in four (76 percent) adults planning to relocate after retirement said that they consider the cost of healthcare as important or very important in their decision.
In the survey, “cost of healthcare” ranked number three of five, behind “overall cost of living” (92 percent) and “climate” (81 percent), but just ahead of “ease of transportation” (69 percent) and “proximity to friends and family” (49 percent).
Costs Vary Greatly by Region
Overlooking the cost of healthcare and health insurance can have real consequences for retirees. Costs can vary widely from one area of the country to another. Insurance premiums, Medicare health plans, Medicaid, and long-term care rates can change exponentially. For instance, an average annual premium for a Medicare Supplement insurance policy in New York could be $3,700. If the same policy holder moved to Phoenix, the premium for the same Medicare Supplement plan could be as low as $1,200.
“Too many times, people considering retirement and relocation don’t give any thought to how it could affect their healthcare and insurance costs,” said Longevity Alliance President Steve Zaleznick. “As retirees grow older, those costs grow larger, so choosing a region that makes those costs affordable is a key component of a sound retirement strategy. And they need to remember if they move again later, they may find healthcare costs increasing if they move back to their home state.”
Five Tips for Before You Move
1. Call your current insurer once you’ve identified the area to which you’d like to move. Ask about how the move would impact your current health insurance plan: Is it available? Is there a cost difference? Are there other plans available that are not available in your current location that might better fit your needs? This is especially important for Medicare beneficiaries who may find a very different selection of Medicare Supplement plans, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans available.
2. Contact a broker who represents a variety of insurance companies and plans and can identify the available options for you. A different insurance company may have a similar or better plan for about the same or even a better price. Get health insurance quotes from at least two different companies to see how rates and benefits compare.
3. Ask about Medicare Advantage in your new location if you are Medicare eligible. It is usually a lower cost option than a Medicare Supplement Plan and may be the right option for you.
4. Investigate health care costs you will be paying for yourself so that you’ll be able to budget well for things insurance doesn’t cover. Find out about physician fees, hospital costs, routine exam prices, the cost of any maintenance drugs you take, and the cost of dental care to name a few.
5. Plan for long-term care by finding out about the average cost in your new location. If you have long-term care insurance, check to see if your daily benefit is adequate. If not, check into the cost of supplementing your policy with an additional policy. If you have not yet bought long-term care insurance, get quotes from at least three different companies to compare benefits and cost. And use a company that specializes in long-term care insurance.
New Booklet Available
Visit www.longevityalliance.com and download a copy of the guide “Uncover a Hidden cost of Moving: Health Care” or call 1-800-713-6610 ext. 311 for a new detailed booklet on considering the cost of healthcare when relocating. This research and booklet are part of an occasional “Longevity Milestones” series on financial and healthcare issues facing retirees and those planning for retirement.
About the Survey
The Retirement and Relocation study was conducted online within the United States on behalf of Longevity Alliance between September 17 and September 19, 2007 among 1,509 adults ages 40+, of whom, 381 are likely to relocate when they retire.
Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys.
The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population.
Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About Longevity Alliance
Based in Washington, DC, and with a customer contact center in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Longevity Alliance Inc. helps older Americans find the right products to meet their needs by surveying the marketplace and contracting with high quality financial and insurance companies to provide consumers with a range of choices in each product category. Longevity Alliance is staffed with experienced senior executives in aging, insurance and financial services who have spent decades working for the biggest names in products and services for older Americans. The company also publishes Momentum¸ a monthly newsletter for older Americans. Consumers can sign up for a free online copy at www.momentumtoday.com. For more information, visit www.longevityalliance.com.