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Health Status Of Seniors; Older Medicare Beneficiaries Report Improvement

Health Status Of Seniors News: Between 2010 and 2018, the share of people ages 65 to 74 reporting being in only “fair” or “poor” health fell from 21.2 percent to 19.1 percent according to the latest report published by the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI).

Some 63.4 million Americans were beneficiaries of the Medicare program in 2021 according to AAMSI and the Centers for Medicare and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Of these, 55.1 million were age 65 and older. The remainder, 8.3 million were beneficiaries under age 65 who have qualifying disabilities or End Stage Renal Disease.

CMS actuaries estimate that Medicare spending grew at 7.5 percent in 2022. They project that Medicare spending will grow by 6 to 7 percent per year from 2023 through 2030. As a result, Medicare spending will double over the next 10 years, rising from $875 billion in 2021 to $1.8 trillion in 2031.

Older individuals tend to cost the Medicare program more. As a result, improved health can benefit the taxpayer-supported program. According to the latest data, the share of Medicare beneficiaries ages 75 and older who reported “fair” or “poor” health fell from 28.3 percent to 26.6 percent.

Health Status Of Seniors: Most Common Chronic Conditions

The most prevalent chronic conditions among Medicare beneficiaries are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, diabetes and enlarged prostate. Over two-thirds (67%) of Medicare beneficiaries have high blood pressure. Nearly as many (63%) have high cholesterol.

These conditions may persist for years and can lead to other chronic conditions. Spending per beneficiary per year is highest for those recently diagnosed with a heart attack, lung cancer, a stroke, heart failure, or colon cancer.

Medicare spending per beneficiary in 2020 was $16,240 for high blood pressure and $15,570 for high cholesterol. For diabetes, the per-beneficiary spending reported was $18,012.

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About the Author

Jesse Slome

Jesse Slome
Medicare Insurance Expert
Director, American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance

Jesse Slome is a leading Medicare insurance expert and the founder and director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI). Since 1998 AAMSI has served to educate consumers and support insurance professionals who offer Medicare insurance plans.