No. of Recommendations: 4
Last March I had a spine operation. The Medicare approved bills totaled $105,000, but the submitted bills totaled at least $50,000 more (I didn't keep count, but one bill was reduced by Medicare from $25,000 to $560!). As it has turned out, we have paid very little of the total (I believe under $20) because we have a backup health plan. Now if all we had was the backup health plan, our bill would have been something like $30,000. I wonder how many of the working poor could have built up a health savings plan of $30,000? On the other hand, how many of the working poor could even pay the bill for our backup health plan ($4,200 this last year)? We are not the working poor and, so far, can mange these things, though the $30,000 would have taken a big chunk out of our "nursing home fund" which, thankfully, we have not had to use, YET! I feel indeed fortunate to have lived in the age of Medicare as they have saved me from a wheelchair for sure.

As to retirement savings accounts, I am told that the 2% devoted to them would amount, on average, to $35/mo and much of the Federal Governments take out of this would be used up in administration. Just how this would develop into a retirement nest egg for the average, I have no idea. There must be more efficient solution, none particularly pleasant I'm sure, such as raising the SS payments and increasing the retirement age. I do not get Social Security, but my wife does and it amounts to less than 10% of our annual expenses. Thankfully we have other resources (so far).

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