Americans in 40s may not be able to afford retiree healthcare costs

The current generation of wage earners in their 40s do not have enough money in savings to ensure they can pay for their healthcare when they retire, reports Healthcare Finance News.

The study was released as Republican members of Congress have recently proposed fundamental changes to the Medicare program that would likely move a lot more financial responsibility to recipients.

The study by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute concludes that although there will be some rise in incomes for Medicare beneficiaries in the coming decades, it will be relatively little. Incomes are projected to be 17 percent higher for the next generation of Medicare beneficiaries in the bottom quarter of income distribution but 37 percent higher among top earners. And half of beneficiaries will have incomes below $26,400.

"Most Medicare beneficiaries have relatively low incomes and this is not projected to greatly change among the next generation of Medicare beneficiaries," said Gretchen Jacobson, a Kaiser policy analyst and one of the study's co-authors. "This is important to consider when options are being discussed for decreasing the federal Medicare spending and addressing the federal debt and deficit."

For more:
- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the Kaiser Family Foundation study