Who are Medicare beneficiaries?by Denise Early on Dec. 27, 2011, under Health
A person who is covered by Medicare is known as a “Medicare beneficiary”. I came across some interesting information about Medicare beneficiaries on the kff.org website.
According to the kff.org Medicare Fact Sheet, 2010 data show that:
Half of all people on Medicare have incomes below $22,000.
Half of all Medicare beneficiaries have less than $53,000 in savings.
25% or more have a cognitive/mental impairment.
21% of Medicare beneficiaries qualify for Medicaid. This means their income is less than $924 per month ($11,088 per year).
20% had a Medicare supplement policy in 2010.
25% were enrolled in Medicare Advantage [nationwide] in 2010. (In Pima and Maricopa counties in Arizona the number is 45%.)
11% of Medicare beneficiaries had no supplemental coverage in 2009. This means they were not enrolled in Medicare Advantage or a Medigap plan and so were at risk of having large, never-ending medical bills.
Health expenses, including premiums, accounted for 15% of Medicare household budgets in 2009. This is three times the share of health spending in non‐Medicare [younger] households.
This information is interesting to me because it raises questions about changes being discussed for Medicare, many of which involve putting more cost onto seniors. Can most Medicare beneficiaries afford to pay more of their medical bills? With so many low income and mentally impaired seniors, will a more complicated system make things even more difficult for them?