What an aging population may mean for care facilities’ accounts receivable

Preparing for retirement costs now  can help to avoid medical debt in the future.

As the Baby Boomer generation nears retirement age, the subject of health care costs in later years has become part of the national conversation. Because many facilities already are encountering issues caused by uncompensated care, an influx of retirees that are financially underprepared for their treatment costs could become a significant challenge. 

Many older Americans are under the assumption that Medicare will cover the entirety of their medical costs during retirement. Unfortunately, for most Americans, this simply is not the case. A recent study performed by Fidelity found that a couple who retired in 2013 will need more than $220,000 to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses during retirement, not including the costs of any nursing home care.

To help Americans nearing retirement better prepare for their health care costs, USA Today recently published some tips on avoiding medical debt.

The source suggests obtaining a Medicare supplemental plan to protect against out-of-pocket costs. This option, commonly referred to as "Medigap" helps avoid high deductibles and co-payments. 

Retirees are also encouraged to research the best sources for their prescription drug needs. Generic options provide the same active ingredients as brand-name offerings, but often at a fraction of the cost. 

Of course, the most cost effective means of avoiding high health care bills is to pursue an active, healthy lifestyle. Building good exercise habits now can help prevent significant costs in the future. 

Unfortunately, predicting future health care needs can be incredibly difficult. Health insurance claims follow-up professionals should be prepared for the oncoming wave of retirees by third-party pursuing hospital billing backlog solutions. Outsourcing receivables helps to reduce the number of dollars written off to bad debt and provides a more manageable claims load for in-house staff.