A financial advisor who knows the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicare will have a huge advantage over those who do not, according to John Carter, president and COO of Retirement Plans for Nationwide Financial.
Those who are near or in retirement are often confused about what coverage they need for health-care costs, Carter says, so advisors have a chance to distinguish themselves from the competition by knowing the regulations.
“A big mistake boomers are making is waiting for someone to fix the problem of paying for health-care costs in retirement,” Carter says. “America’s workers need to realistically plan to be responsible for their own health care in retirement and need advice from financial advisors who understand health-care costs’ impact on retirement.”
According to the Nationwide survey, What Americans Don’t Understand About ACA, 75 percent of boomers do not know that the ACA does not cover long-term care. Likewise, 76 percent do not know their personal benefits under ACA and 37 percent do not know what the ACA exchanges are.
Nationwide has developed an assessment tool that can be used to calculate health-care costs based on the area where a person lives, Carter says.
A year ago, fewer than half said they were terrified about health-care costs in retirement. This year, that number rose to 61 percent. The survey was taken among 801 Americans over age 50 with at least $150,000 in household income.
Among the respondents, 64 percent have talked with an advisor about retirement, but only 22 percent have addressed the topic of health care and Medicare.
Confusion exists over some basic facts, says Carter, including what effect the ACA has on people who are on Medicare. The answer is that it has no effect.
On average, respondents say they think Medicare will cover 69 percent of their health care costs, while it actually covers an average of 51 percent of the costs, Carter says. At the same time, respondents say they do not expect their children to support them but most do not have a long-term-care plan.
More than half do not think children can be forced to pay long-term care and health care costs for their parents, when in fact 29 states have laws that mandate children pay the bills if the parents can’t.