Navigation Links
Uninsured Adults Increase Medicare Costs

While the overall cost-effectiveness of Medicare benefits have been much-debated, new data now show that people who were uninsured before receiving benefits at age 65 required more intensive and costlier care than those who had been privately insured prior to receiving Medicare. These findings, from researchers at Harvard Medical School (HMS), appear in the July 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The implication is that expanding coverage to uninsured near-elderly adults may not cost as much as previously thought, says J. Michael McWilliams, an HMS research associate and practicing general internist at Brigham and Womens Hospital. Particularly for those with heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes, earlier access to effective treatments can prevent costly complications and reduce health care needs after age 65.

Created in 1965, Medicare now covers nearly 43 million elderly and disabled Americans. In 2006, the programs cost of $374 billion accounted for 14 percent of the federal budget, and federal spending on Medicare is expected to grow to $524 billion by 2011. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare spending as a share of GDP is estimated to increase from 2.7 percent to 4.7 percent by 2020 as a larger percentage of the population survives well beyond age 65.

Despite the size of the program, Medicare may still not be helping enough people. The expansion of Medicare coverage to uninsured adults before the age of 65 has been proposed in Congress in recent years, in part because if adults have chronic conditions in their late 50s and early 60s, its very difficult for them to obtain private insurance on their own, says John Z. Ayanian, HMS associate professor of medicine and of health care policy and a practicing general internist at Brigham and Womens Hospital. Even if theyre eligible for private insurance, it can be prohibitively expensive.

McWilliams and Ayanian, along with colleag ues in the HMS Department of Health Care Policy, conducted a study comparing previously uninsured to insured adults to see how each group used health services before and after entering Medicare.

Using data from a national survey, the Health and Retirement Study, the researchers followed 5,158 adults who were ages 53 to 61 in 1992 for 12 years (through 2004). They compared health care use and expenses for 3,773 subjects who were insured and 1,385 who were uninsured before 65. The survey also captured information on dozens of different characteristics, from subjects exercise habits to depression symptoms.

To account for the large differences between insured and uninsured adults in characteristics such as education and income levels, the researchers gave more statistical weight to insured subjects who closely resembled the uninsured group in education, income, and other characteristics than they did to insured subjects who were very different.

When the researchers compared these statistically similar groups, the differences due to insurance were clear. After gaining Medicare coverage at age 65, health care use by previously uninsured adults not only rose to the level of previously insured adults but exceeded it substantially, says McWilliams. These greater health care needs persisted at least through age 72.

These findings were especially noticeable in adults with cardiovascular disease or diabetes, illnesses that can be life-threatening when left untreated, but manageable if caught early. This is a group for whom medical advances in recent decades have had an impressive impact on health. If people with diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease are uninsured, they often have to forego very cost-effective therapies, says McWilliams.

Providing health insurance coverage for uninsured near-elderly adults may not only improve their health, but also reduce their annual health care use after age 65, he con tinues. Particularly for those with cardiovascular disease or diabetes, these benefits are likely to be substantial and may partially offset the costs of expanding coverage.


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Uninsured People Turn To Free Clinics.
2. San Francisco Mayor Proposes An Alternate Plan For The Uninsured City Residents
3. Mexi-Plan by Health Net, Expected To Be a Boon for Uninsured Latinos
4. Lack Of Insurance Means Worse Care For Uninsured
5. AMA Supports Tax Penalty for Uninsured Americans
6. Study Finds ER Not Overburdened By Uninsured & Immigrants
7. Minorities, Uninsured Less Likely to Receive Care at High-Volume Hospitals
8. Uninsured Often Receive Less Medical Care
9. Bush Signs Bill for Cancer Screening Program for Low-Income, Uninsured Women
10. Number of Uninsured in North Carolina on the Rise
11. Smokers to Be Taxed to Fund Healthcare for Uninsured
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/25/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... support, and collaboration, announces Mirroring360 Pro . This new addition to the ... collaboration experience for education and business. , Mirroring360 Pro enables educators, business professionals ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... and HR decision-makers are preparing for how his administration could impact the employee ... insight into what changes are most likely to make it through Congress. His ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Patients who would like ... in a fraction of the time as traditional braces – Wilckodontics®. Dr. Victoria ... now offers this revolutionary treatment with or without a referral. , Wilckodontics ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... ... Buyers and sellers in the thriving multi-billion dollar cannabis marketplace – from ... be heartened by the industry’s current surge. But another thing that unifies them is ... At last they can simply, safely and effectively end their aroma anguish thanks to ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... There is no better place in South Florida ... report in the May issue of Consumer Reports focused on heart health. , ... achieved during and after coronary bypass and aortic valve replacement procedures. , Consumer ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/18/2017)... DUBLIN, Ohio , April 18, 2017  Cardinal ... its Non-GAAP 1 fiscal 2017 earnings per share ... 2018 and 2019.  This is in conjunction with this ... Care, Deep Vein Thrombosis and Nutritional Insufficiency businesses. ... EPS from continuing operations will be at the bottom ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017 Viverae ® , a ... the integration of IBM ® Watson Campaign Automation, ... targeted communications for a personalized experience. Through digital engagement, ... their health in real time. The enhanced experience drives ... to members, wherever they are in their journey to ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Astute Medical, Inc., developer of biomarkers ... be presented at the 2017 National Kidney Foundation (NKF) ... continues through April 22. Physicians will present data on ... assess risk for acute kidney injury (AKI) during the ... Elevated levels of TIMP-2 and IGFBP-7 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: