Percentage of U.S. Americans covered by Medicare 1990-2018

Medicare is an important public health insurance scheme for U.S. adults aged 65 years and over. As of 2018, approximately 17.8 percent of the U.S. population was covered by Medicare, a slight increase from the previous year. As of 2017, California, Florida, and Texas had the largest number of adults aged 65 years and older.

The Medicare program

Medicare has two primary parts: Medicare Part A covers hospital care and Medicare Part B covers medical insurance. Both parts of Medicare are available to those aged 65 years and older under certain conditions. Medicare premiums are variable and depend on the enrollee’s income. Despite a majority of the Medicare enrollees being above the federal poverty line, there are still several programs in place to help cover the costs of healthcare for the elderly.

Opinions on elderly care in the U.S.

It is estimated that about 25 percent of Medicare enrollees are in fair/poor health. But there are lots of questions about who should pay for or help with elderly care long-term. In a recent survey of U.S. adults, about half of the respondents said that health insurance companies should pay for elderly care. However, a significant majority of adults also supported a long-term government sponsored health plan like Medicaid. The issue is still hotly debated and politicized in the U.S., especially as the 2020 election approaches.

Percentage of people covered by Medicare in the United States from 1990 to 2018

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Release date

September 2019


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2018

Supplementary notes

This statistic was assembled from several editions of the same report.

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Statistics on "Medicare"

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