Health Services Utilization
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 several components: Part A covers hospital, skilled
nursing, home health, and hospice care; Part B covers physician
services, outpatient hospital services, and durable medical equipment.
Medicare covers preventive services such as an annual mammogram,
Pap smear, bone density scan, and influenza vaccination. Part D,
a prescription drug benefit, was added in 2006.
In 2004, Medicare had 41.7 million enrollees,
56 percent of them were females. The large majority of all Medicare
enrollees were aged 65 or older, with the elderly representing 87
percent of female enrollees and 81 percent of male enrollees. Of
Medicare enrollees aged 65-74, 9.6 million were female and 8.3 million
were male. Among enrollees aged 75-84, 7.5 million were female and
5.1 million were male.
Medicaid is jointly funded by the Federal and
State governments and provides coverage for low-income individuals
and people with disabilities. In 2003, Medicaid covered 55 million
individuals, including children; the aged, blind, and disabled;
and people who are eligible for cash assistance programs. Fifty-nine
percent of all Medicaid enrollees were female; of the adults enrolled
in Medicare, 69.5 percent were female.1
1 Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services,
Medicaid Statistical Information System.