Health Care Costs Can Be Steep in Retirement

As you plan for your retirement, you may be forgetting one important thing – health care.

NYSLRS does not provide health care coverage for its retirees, and we’re not the experts on this subject. But we do offer advice to members about retirement planning, and how you’ll pay for health care coverage and out-of-pocket medical expenses should be an important consideration as you approach retirement.

Know the Health Care Cost Facts

Medicare premiums, deductibles, co-payments and prescription drug costs all add up. And those expenditures are likely to rise because health costs have been increasing faster than the rate of inflation and people spend more on medical expenses as they age.

Recent reports indicate a typical 65-year-old retiring in 2018 would spend well over $100,000 to cover medical costs over the course of retirement. What’s more, most NYSLRS members can retire as early as 55. That means you may spend a longer time in retirement than the average retiree, and you may not be eligible for Medicare for years.

couple working on their budget together

What You Can Do To Prepare

Before you can budget for retirement medical costs, you’ll need to do your homework. Start by talking to your employer about the health care options available to you after your retire and get an estimate of how much you will need to pay. You should also familiarize yourself with Medicare’s options, benefits and costs.

Once you get an idea of what your monthly health care might be, you can start planning how to pay for it. You may have to increase your retirement savings. If you’re a state employee, or a municipal employee covered by the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP), you may be able to get credit for unused sick leave that can reduce your NYSHIP premium. This program is managed by the New York State Department of Civil Service, not NYSLRS. Their Planning for Retirement booklet provides some good information.

7 thoughts on “Health Care Costs Can Be Steep in Retirement

  1. sandra c. filler

    I need a statement of what I paid for my healthcare, minus my sick leave credit. Where do I get this information?

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      The total amount that we withheld from your pension payments for health insurance premiums will be listed on your 2018 Retiree Annual Statement (RAS). We will mail out the statements for 2018 near the end of February.

      You can also contact your health insurance program administrator. For New York State retirees, the New York State Department of Civil Service administers the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP). You can contact the Department of Civil Service or visit their website at to learn more.

      If you retired from a public employer other than New York State (a county, city, town, village or school district), your former employer’s benefits administrator should be able to answer your questions.

  2. Charles Rodenas

    Could you send me the Planning For Retirement booklet to my home mailing address and or Post Office Box?

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Unfortunately, the NYSLRS Social Media team doesn’t have access to your address or other account information. However, we’ve asked our Call Center representatives to send you a copy of that booklet.

      If you need a publication in the future, you can download them from our website, or you can request a copy through our Call Center at 1-866-805-0990 (518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area).


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