Medicare’s Role for Older Women

KFF: May 16, 2013

Medicare is the federal health program that provides health coverage to 50 million Americans ages 65 and older and younger adults with permanent disabilities.  While Medicare plays an important role for nonelderly people with disabilities, Medicare is also a critical source of retirement security for 22.4 million women ages 65 and over, who tend to have lower incomes and more chronic conditions than older men.  More than half (56%) of all older Medicare beneficiaries are women; two of every three beneficiaries ages 85 and older are women.  As policymakers consider changes to Medicare to reduce the national deficit and control rising health costs, older women have much at stake in the outcome of discussions about the program’s future. Read more