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Medicaid and Medicare
Medicaid, jointly funded by Federal and State governments, provides medical coverage to certain categories of low-income people.1 In 2009, Medicaid covered 62.2 million people including low-income pregnant women, children, parents, elderly individuals, and those with disabilities. Adults aged 19 and older accounted for about half of Medicaid enrollees (31.9 million), and women accounted for 68.2 percent of all adult enrollees. Medicaid serves as a critical safety net for those who might otherwise be uninsured; increasing enrollment has helped to offset declines in employer-sponsored coverage, but more notably for children than adults due to greater eligibility and expansions for children.2
Women accounted for a larger proportion of adult Medicaid enrollees in every age group, most noticeably among those aged 19–44 and 85 years and older (72.5 and 79.3 percent, respectively). Nearly 13.5 million women, representing 62.0 percent of adult female Medicaid enrollees, were of childbearing age (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Because the Medicaid eligibility threshold is lowered in the postpartum period, 31 States have expanded family planning through a Federal waiver or State plan amendments to cover women who would not otherwise be eligible for Medicaid.3
Medicare is the Nation's health insurance program for people aged 65 years and older, some people under age 65 with disabilities, and those with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure). Medicare has four components: Part A covers hospital, skilled nursing, home health, and hospice care; Part B covers physician services, outpatient services, and durable medical equipment; Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) allows beneficiaries to purchase coverage through private insurers; and Part D allows for coverage of prescription drugs through private insurers.1
In 2010, 55.2 percent of Medicare's 47.7 million enrollees were female (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Due to age-related eligibility, those in older age groups accounted for a greater proportion of overall enrollment among both women and men. However, a greater proportion of male enrollees were under 65 compared to female enrollees (19.6 versus 14.6 percent, respectively). In contrast, adults aged 85 years and older comprised a greater proportion of female than male enrollees. (14.4 versus 8.5 percent, respectively), due to the longer life expectancy of women.
1 Klees BS, Wolfe CJ, Curtis CA. Brief Summaries of Medicare & Medicaid. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Baltimore, MD; Nov 2011.
2 Kaiser Family Foundation. The Uninsured: A Primer. Washington, DC: Kaiser Family Foundation; October 10, 2011. Accessed 06/15/12.
3 Guttmacher Institute. State Policies in Brief: Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions. July 1, 2011. Accessed 07/06/12.
|Age Group||Percent of Adults|
|*Based on Federal Fiscal Year (October to September); percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey with multiply imputed poverty data, 2008-2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.|
|85 Years and Older||79.3||20.7|
|Age Group||Percent of Adults|
|*Enrolled as of July 1, 2010. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey with multiply imputed poverty data, 2008-2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.|
|Under 65 years||14.6||19.6|
|85 years and older||14.4||8.5|