The federal government spent a net $769 billion on health care benefits for Medicare beneficiaries in 2020. That represented 12% of the federal budget and 20% of national health care spending that year.
As the federal health insurance program for those age 65 and older, as well as younger people with certain disabilities or diseases, Medicare is only expected to become increasingly costly for the government in the years to come as more people live into their 80s and beyond.
A recent analysis by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation demonstrates that by showing just how much Medicare spending increases as people age.
Keep reading to see how much the federal Medicare programs spends on seniors from their 60s to their 90s and beyond.
Medicare beneficiaries have two main choices when it comes to how they receive their health care benefits: Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
Original Medicare, sometimes called traditional Medicare, is a health care program administered by the government, while Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies. Also known as Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage must cover everything included in Original Medicare, but it can also have additional benefits and different costs.
For its analysis, the Kaiser Family Foundation only looked at 2019 insurance claims data for Original Medicare beneficiaries, so the following numbers do not reflect how much the government spends on people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.
While most people begin Medicare coverage at age 65, the Kaiser Family Foundation omitted that age from its analysis since seniors may not be enrolled for a full year when they are 65.
For ages 66 through 69, government Medicare spending per person is as follows, on average:
At age 70, average Medicare spending exceeds $10,000 per person and keeps climbing for every year a person gets older:
Average Medicare spending continues to steadily increase throughout a person’s 80s:
As people enter their 90s, average Medicare spending dips slightly before reaching its peak at age 94:
Average Medicare spending begins to decline for centenarians, and the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis ends at age 104:
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