The Unexpected Costs of Medicare

U.S. News & World Report: The Unexpected Costs of Medicare
With a little planning, seniors on Medicare can minimize their out-of-pocket expenses.

By Joseph P. Williams Oct. 15, 2014 | 8:00 a.m. EDT


Created in 1965, Medicare was intended to answer growing reports of impoverished seniors languishing or dying because they lacked health insurance. Since then, Medicare has acquired a reputation as the ultimate government entitlement, a system of low-cost, taxpayer subsidized health care provided at the stage in life when retirees need it most.

But the broad-reaching health care insurance system comes with costs that many seniors – including those already using the plan – don’t see until the bills show up. Those out-of-pocket expenses, according to experts, can range from hundreds of dollars in monthly premiums and office visit copays to six-figure bills for surgery and hospitalization for things like joint-replacement operations, a procedure common among older Americans. Read more