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.

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.