NEW YORK — You may be able to save for retirement by taking a few extra steps to preserve your health, a new study suggests.
But if you’re a senior with high-deductible health insurance, you may not be able afford to take advantage of that opportunity, and you may be paying the price for the benefits you may receive, according to a report by the Urban Institute.
A number of retirement plans, including traditional pensions, have come under fire for the lack of disclosure of health benefits, but the new study says the cost of covering such coverage may outweigh the benefits, the Associated Press reported.
In addition, seniors and workers who have high medical costs are at a higher risk of not being able to maintain their coverage because of a lack of access to retirement savings, the study found.
The Urban Institute report, which was released Tuesday, found that the costs of covering a senior’s health care coverage may exceed the benefits provided by most employers.
“Employers may have a fiduciary duty to provide health care benefits that are adequate to meet the medical needs of their employees,” the report said.
More than 4 million people are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, according the American Institute of Philanthropy.
They pay about half of their premiums, according.
The Urban report looked at how many people with private health insurance plans and who are older than 65 have been able to retire without any financial penalty.
Of those, only about 15 percent of those over 65 have had any health insurance coverage at all, according a study by the RAND Corporation in April.
Many of those with private insurance plans may have lower medical costs than other Americans, the Urban report said, but they may not have been covered by the plan because of the cost.
Health benefits are generally higher in the elderly, the report found.
The report also found that some people may be eligible for federal disability benefits and state unemployment benefits, as well as tax credits.
While there are some benefits that can be purchased through employer-sponsored health insurance that are generally available to other Americans under the Affordable Care Act, many of the health benefits are not.
For example, the American Health Security Program, which helps low-income people afford health care, is not available to the uninsured, according in a March report by Health Policy Research Institute.
That program is the largest of its kind in the country, and is funded by the federal government.
Other costs of health care that are not covered by employer-provided health insurance include prescriptions and other medications and medical supplies.
Obamacare also required employers to provide workers with an annual report on their health and to disclose certain health information, but many employers don’t have the information to report that information to their employees, the AP said.
The report is the first to look at the cost to seniors and the disabled of being able get health care.
That means the Urban study found that seniors and disabled workers have been paying more than $4,000 more per year than their wealthier peers because of those cost increases.