Does Staying Healthy Reduce Your Lifetime Health Care Costs?

Anthony WebbNatalia A. Zhivan Wei Sun

IB#10-8

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Retirees in good health face higher lifetime health care costs than those in poor health.
    • A typical healthy couple at age 65 can expect to spend $260,000 with a 5-percent risk of exceeding $570,000.
    • A typical unhealthy couple can expect to spend $220,000 with a 5-percent risk of exceeding $465,000.
  • Those in good health live longer, eventually become less healthy, and often need nursing home care.
  • So the healthy who delay buying Medigap or long-term care insurance could face much higher premiums later.