The Retiree’s Cost of Care Barometer

Version 2.2

March 6, 2018 Modified: June 28, 2018


The Retiree’s Cost of Care Barometer (version 2.2) is a comprehensive planning tool designed to help you measure retiree health care costs and help deliver funding solutions and planning advice tailored to your clients’ unique needs.  Designed by James A. Shambo, CPA (Retired), this software will help you unveil the mystery of health care costs. Key features of the software include:

  • Sample out of pocket cost estimates
  • Part B, Part D and Medigap Calculators
  • Quicktake pressure gauges to see immediate impact of changes
  • And much more!

Check out the User’s Guide designed to help you understand

  • how to use the software
  • resources for estimating longevity and other key assumptions
  • how to start the conversation about health care with your clients

Be sure to check out the latest version 2.2 (updated on March 1, 2018) which takes into account recent Medicare changes that are a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.  Some of the updates include:

  • Lower costs on Part D
  • Increased means testing on Part B and D premium
  • Means testing increasing each year

Updated in Version 2.2:

The Retiree’s Cost of Care Barometer© has been updated for changes made to Medicare by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Changes include the following:

1. Changes to the Part D Donut Hole result in lower costs to Medicare Beneficiaries. The Part D Drug Calculator has been updated to accelerate the discounts scheduled for 2020 into 2019. The 2019, 75% discount for brand name drugs will now consist of 70% drug manufacturer discounts (up from 50%) and 5% drug plan discounts (down from 25%). The maximum Donut Hole costs to the beneficiary are lowered by around $500 on brand name drugs as all manufacturer discounts apply to the TrOOP (True Out of Pocket) cost threshold.

2. Parts B and D Means tested premiums will go up for high income beneficiaries in 2019. Starting in 2019, a new MAGI layer has added for a single beneficiary with MAGI of $500,000 and higher or for married couples with MAGI of $750,000 and higher. The new MAGI layer will pay 85% of the standard premium up from 80% for the previous high bracket in 2018.

3. Means testing will cost more each year. Inflation adjustments to the MAGI levels have been delayed through 2028.

4. Public Policy Risk Tables have been updated to allow for Critical Planning solutions: One of the interesting features of the software is the ability to test exposure to means testing of Part B and D premiums. PP Risk Table #1 considers one proposal to increase the number of beneficiaries to 25% of all beneficiaries by lowering the initial thresholds of $85,000 and $170,000. PP Risk Table #2 considers expanding the higher % of standard premium charged to existing MAGI levels.

5. Drop down boxes added: Several new drop down boxes have been added to make cell selections easier for the user.