Inpatient hospital prices in Los Angeles average 149% of Medicare rates; in Richmond, Va., those rates are 192% of Medicare's prices, according to CSHSC.
Ever noticed how prices of certain items can be more or less depending on where you buy them? Take for instance a simple purchase such as coffee. A cup of coffee will cost you just a bit more or a bit less depending on where you get it. Is the cost dependent on how good the coffee tastes? Not really -- when it comes to geography and what you pay for something, remember the phrase “location, location, location.” And the effect of location on medical care and old-age expenses can be significant.
Planning for your old-age, or for the needs of an elderly loved one, is partly a test of geography in the health care economy. In fact, it’s more important to understand this fact of life now more than ever.
For some fresh analysis of this familiar topic, you might want to take a look at a recent Morningstar article titled “Health-Care Costs: Why Your Location Really Matters.” The article speaks to the “numbers” and to international comparisons. Regardless, the key for you to note is not the economics or even the politics behind this issue, but rather the very real circumstances you and your loved ones may be facing now or in the future.
So, how will you plan for the geography of medical expenses? Be sure to consult appropriate counsel when planning for the future health care costs you or a loved one may encounter.
Reference: Morningstar (January 11, 2013) “Health-Care Costs: Why Your Location Really Matters”