Health care costs in the US continue to rise and inflation does as well, which means Americans are doubting they can afford health expenses and maintain their physical and financial wellbeing in retirement.

This is according to the Nationwide Retirement Institute Health Care Cost in Retirement survey.

More than half (59%) lacked confidence in their ability to pay for health costs as they age. Also, 57% worried about their ability to pay for caregiving for their partner or spouse.

In addition, one in four Americans (26%) expected AI in health care to add over ten years to their life. Of those, Gen Z expected AI to add an average of 15 years to their life, millennials 12 years, Gen Xers 8 years, and boomers 9 years.

Health care delays in the US

Other findings included:

  • Nearly one in five (18%) adults have postponed health care actions such as a medical procedure, physical exam, or renewing prescriptions in the past twelve months to save money;
  • To find additional savings, 10% of Americans are considering downgrading their health insurance plan because of high inflation, and
  • 60% of adults are placing a bet on their health by saying they chose or would choose a health insurance policy with a lower premium but higher deductible plan which typically has a cheaper monthly payment.

“Advances in AI and health care technology in general are moving faster than ever and may help treat many of today’s chronic diseases, as well as other health issues,” said Kristi Rodriguez, senior vice president of the Nationwide Retirement Institute.

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“While this is good news, longevity requires more planning. That is why it is so important to consult with a financial professional to create a plan that prioritises your health care needs now and for a retirement that could be longer than anticipated.”