Kaiser Report Details Medicare Spending

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s recently released report, “The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare,” provides a detailed analysis of Medicare spending by age and by service among the approximately 30 million people covered by the program in 2011.

The report studies the relationship between per person Medicare spending and advancing age, finding that beneficiaries aged 80 or older make up a disproportionate share of Medicare spending and are expected to triple as a share of the 65+ population in the next 35 years.

Some of the key findings from the report include:

  • Medicare per capita spending more than doubles between the ages of 70 and 96, from $7,566 to $16,145.
  • Skilled nursing facility and hospice per capita spending rises substantially for beneficiaries in their late 80s and 90s.
  • The majority of per capita Medicare costs is spending on inpatient hospital care, which increases with age and starts to decline when beneficiaries reach their mid to late 90s.
  • Medicare spending per capita peaked at age 96 in 2011 as opposed to age 92 in 2000.

The full report can be found here.

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