Retirees need up to $150,000 for health costs, report says

Medicare beneficiaries of retirement age will need upwards of nearly $150,000 in savings to cover health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses in order to have a 50-50 chance of being financially secure in retirement, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Men 65 and older will need anywhere from $65,000 and $109,000 in savings to cover health costs to have a 50-50 chance of having enough money in retirement, according to the study. If they want to improve their odds to 90 percent, they will need between $124,000 and $211,000.

Women of retirement age this year need even more savings. For 50-50 odds, they need between $88,000 and $146,000 in savings. For 90 percent, they need $134,000 to $242,000.

The projected savings requirements for those currently 55 years old will be even greater, EBRI said. Men will need to save between $110,000 and $354,000, while women will need to save between $147,000 and $406,000.

"Because employers are continuing to scale back retiree health benefits, and policymakers may soon begin to address Medicare's funding shortfall, more of the financial costs of health care will be shifted to Medicare beneficiaries in the future," said Paul Fronstin, reporter co-author and director of EBRI's Health Research and Education Program.