A common misconception on retirement health care expenses is “All my needs will be covered by Medicare.” You might be one of those who has heard of Medicare, but know little about it except that when retire you get it (in most cases, starting at 65). You might assume everything is covered and there is no need to plan for additional medical expenses.

That’s what Medicare is for, right?

Rubber meets the road

The reality is Medicare has many options, doesn’t cover everything, and isn’t free. For example, while hospital care (Part A) is usually free, it has a deductible of $1,340 per benefit period and coinsurance payments. Medical coverage (Part B), such as seeing a doctor, is $134 a month or higher. If you want drug coverage, that is an additional premium. If you want a plan that covers deductibles and coinsurance, you can get that too, but for another premium.

To makes matters sound even more dire, Medicare doesn’t cover non-medical home care services, such as if you need health bathing, 24-hour home care, or meals delivered to your home.

And the really scary part: It is estimated that you will spend approximately $280,000 during your retirement on health care needs.

Learning more

It is important to understand what Medicare does and does not give you. U.S. News put together a list of eight more misconceptions. Also,you can check-out our Medicare Navigator tool (register Free, membership paid) that helps get the answers your need. Just sign up and continue to the navigator.