The Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be positively influencing the rise in health care costs, at least in the short run, but more than 62 percent of pre-retirees say they are “terrified” of what health care costs may do to their retirement plans. That’s the feedback from this year’s Nationwide Retirement Institute survey.
Based on feedback from 801 U.S. adults ages 50 or older with a household income of $150,000 or more, 72 percent say one of their top fears in retirement is their health care costs going out of control. More than half (55 percent) believe the ACA will increase those costs, and more than one-quarter of employed affluent boomers (26 percent) now believe they will never retire.
The attention the ACA has received during the past year has increased the percentage of pre-retirees who feel very confident to confident that they know their personal benefits and consequences of the ACA (32 percent versus 24 percent). Nevertheless, pre-retirees are more likely than last year to say they expect their biggest expense in retirement to be the cost of health care (51 percent this year as compared to 43 percent in last year’s survey).
Many Americans like aspects of the ACA, such as guaranteed coverage and access to multiple insurers; however, 64 percent of affluent boomers believe the ACA will be a drain on the U.S. economy. Forty-five percent say they would delay their retirement if they had to buy their own health insurance. More than one-quarter of parents say they would delay retirement to keep their children on their employer-based insurance, which permits coverage through age 26.