MEDICARE AND MEDICAID
Medicare is the Nation’s health insurance program
for people aged 65 and older, some people under age 65 with disabilities,
and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure
requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant). The Medicare program
has two components: Part A, which covers hospital, skilled nursing,
home health, and hospice care, and Part B, which covers physician
services, outpatient hospital services, and durable medical equipment.
Among the preventive services covered by Medicare are an annual
mammogram, Pap smear, bone density scan, and influenza vaccination.
In 2003, Medicare had over 41 million enrollees, of whom 56 percent
were female. The large majority of all Medicare enrollees were aged
65 or older, with the elderly representing 88 percent of female
enrollees and 82 percent of males.
Medicaid is jointly funded by the Federal and State governments
and provides coverage for low-income individuals and people with
disabilities. In 2002, Medicaid covered 51.5 million individuals,
including children; the aged, blind, and disabled; and people who
are eligible for cash assistance programs. Sixty percent of Medicaid
enrollees were female. Of all Medicaid enrollees, 54 percent were
under age 21, 35 percent were between the ages of 21 and 64, and
11 percent were aged 65 and older.1
1Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicaid
Statistical Information System.