We spend more on our health care as we age. No news there. But you may be surprised to learn that all health spending is not created equal. For most of us, as long as we can stay out of the hospital or a nursing home, our costs are relatively modest–and steady–even as we grow older.
But that can change if we have a severe, acute medical episode that lands us in a hospital bed or a skilled nursing facility, or if our functional or cognitive limitations get so severe that we need home health care or even must move to a nursing home. While we use those services infrequently, we are more likely to do so as we age. Because they are extremely expensive and often not paid for by Medicare, our out-of-pocket costs for those services can go through the roof.