|Title||How much does Out-of-Pocket Medical Spending Eat Away at Retirement Income?|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||McInerney, M, Rutledge, MS, King, SEllen|
|Series Title||Working Papers|
|Institution||Center for Retirement Research at Boston College|
|Keywords||Gender Differences, Income, Medicare, Social Security|
The adequacy of retirement income – from Social Security benefits and other sources – is substantially reduced by Medicare’s high out-of-pocket (OOP) costs. This project uses the 2002-2014 Health and Retirement Study to calculate post-OOP benefit ratios, defined as the share of either Social Security benefits or total income available for non-medical spending. The project decomposes the share of income that is going toward premium payments and services delivered and examines how these post-OOP benefit ratios differ by age, gender, income, supplemental insurance coverage, and health status. The project also updates previous studies’ estimates to document how OOP spending and the post-OOP income ratios changed following the introduction of Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage in 2006 and the closing of the “donut hole” coverage gap in 2010, which decreased OOP costs under Part D for those spending moderate amounts on prescriptions.