Retiree Health Care Costs Drop, for Now: Fidelity

retired couple paperwork
Ron Chapple | Taxi | Getty Images
retired couple paperwork

The bad news: A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need $230,000 to pay for medical expenses throughout retirement, not including nursing home care.

The good news: That's an 8 percent decline from last year's $250,000 cost.

Brad Kimler, executive vice president of Fidelity Investments' Benefits Consulting business, said the decline came from Medicare changes contained in two parts of the Obama administration health are law enacted last year that reduced out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions drugs for many seniors.

Although welcome, Kimler said the reduction "should be considered a one-time adjustment, at least for the time being."

Americans should expect health are expenses to continue increasing annually from such factors are higher costs for medical services, the use of new technology and increased use of diagnostic testing and other services.

He said workers can save on expenses by using company-sponsored health savings accounts that allow them to pay for qualified medical costs on a federal tax-free basis while on the job or in retirement.