Article by Sarah O’Brien, CNBC

“Each day in the United States, about 10,000 baby boomers celebrate their 65th birthday. Their gift from good old Uncle Sam is Medicare.

After years of paying payroll taxes at work to help fund this government program, these older Americans finally get their turn to sign up and have health insurance for the rest of their lives.

Yet many new enrollees are surprised to discover that basic Medicare does not cover a variety of health-care expenses that can hit retirees pretty hard.

“A lot of people go into it thinking they’ll be covered for everything,” said Roger Luchene, a Medicare agent with Hammer Financial Group in Schererville, Indiana. “The three big ones are dental, vision and hearing. I’m actually surprised by how many people think that’s covered.”

About 48 million Americans age 65 and older are enrolled in Medicare, as well as another 9 million or so younger people with disabilities.

Fidelity Investments estimates that the average couple retiring today at age 65 will spend a whopping $280,000 on health care during the remainder of their lives.”

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