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Retired couples' healthcare costs: $240K

A supporter holds a sign in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the court hears it's third day of arguments on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care bill in Washington, D.C. on March 28, 2012. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5f071343aae8151ecbdf38270243c3e0/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A supporter holds a sign in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the court hears it's third day of arguments on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care bill in Washington, D.C. on March 28, 2012. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

SAN FRANCISCO, May 24 (UPI) -- A 65-year-old U.S. couple retiring in 2012 will spend at least $240,000 for healthcare costs in retirement, officials of Fidelity Investments say.

The latest estimate from Fidelity Investments on healthcare out-of-pocket costs for a U.S. retired couple at age 65 in 2012 does not include long-term-care costs, over-the-counter medications or most dental costs, Marketwatch reported. The $240,000 estimate is based on average life expectancy for a 65-year-old man in 2012, age 82, and a 65-year-old woman, age 85 -- but half of U.S. retirees will live longer than that, company officials said.

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Fidelity's 65-year-old couple, retiring this year with $75,000 in household income, should expect to pay about $10,500 for healthcare costs not included in Medicare.

Henry Hebeler, 78, a former Boeing executive who created AnalyzeNow.com, a retirement-planning Web site, shares his medical expenses to help others prepare for retirement. Hebeler and his wife are in good health but spent about $40,000 in annual medical expenses for two years, even with Medicare.

Some Medicare premiums are deducted directly from Social Security checks, but Medicare Part B -- which covers doctors and some other services not covered by Part A, which covers hospital services -- currently costs a couple about $2,400 per year. Most retirees buy Part D coverage for prescription drugs.

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A Medigap policy, which covers expenses not covered by Medicare, could cost a couple about $4,000 a year.

"Medicare covers 80 percent of your doctor's bill and a good deal of your hospital bills," Hebeler said in a statement.

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