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Future health care to cost 2013 retirees $220,000: Fidelity estimate

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A 65-year-old couple retiring in 2013 without employer-provided retiree health insurance will need about $220,000 to pay future medical-related expenses, Fidelity Investments said in an analysis released Thursday.

That's down about 8% from last year's estimate of $240,000 and is the second annual decrease in the 11 years Fidelity has been making the projections. The first decrease — an 8% decline in 2011 —was driven by a provision in the 2010 health care reform law that expanded Medicare coverage of brand-name prescription drugs once retirees' drug costs hit a certain level.

The latest decline is the result of several factors, including a decrease in utilization of health care services, Fidelity said.

“While lower, this year's estimate is still daunting for many retirees and it will consume a considerable amount of a couple's retirement savings,” Boston-based Brad Kimler, Fidelity's executive vice president of benefits consulting, said in a statement.

Of the $220,000 needed to cover a retired couple's health care expenses, Fidelity estimates that 33% will go toward paying Medicare Part B and Part D premiums, 44% will be needed for expenses not covered by Medicare and 23% will be spent on out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses.