The federal government spent a net $769 billion on health care benefits for Medicare beneficiaries in 2020. That represented 12% of the federal budget and 20% of national health care spending that year.
As the federal health insurance program for those age 65 and older, as well as younger people with certain disabilities or diseases, Medicare is only expected to become increasingly costly for the government in the years to come as more people live into their 80s and beyond.
A recent analysis by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation demonstrates that by showing just how much Medicare spending increases as people age.
Keep reading to see how much the federal Medicare programs spends on seniors from their 60s to their 90s and beyond.
Original Medicare versus Medicare Advantage
Medicare beneficiaries have two main choices when it comes to how they receive their health care benefits: Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
Original Medicare, sometimes called traditional Medicare, is a health care program administered by the government, while Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies. Also known as Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage must cover everything included in Original Medicare, but it can also have additional benefits and different costs.
For its analysis, the Kaiser Family Foundation only looked at 2019 insurance claims data for Original Medicare beneficiaries, so the following numbers do not reflect how much the government spends on people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.
While most people begin Medicare coverage at age 65, the Kaiser Family Foundation omitted that age from its analysis since seniors may not be enrolled for a full year when they are 65.
For ages 66 through 69, government Medicare spending per person is as follows, on average:
- Age 66: $9,082 per beneficiary
- Age 67: $9,412
- Age 68: $9,711
- Age 69: $9,955
At age 70, average Medicare spending exceeds $10,000 per person and keeps climbing for every year a person gets older:
- Age 70: $10,270 per beneficiary
- Age 71: $10,579
- Age 72: $11,153
- Age 73: $11,534
- Age 74: $12,295
- Age 75: $12,629
- Age 76: $13,203
- Age 77: $13,532
- Age 78: $14,113
- Age 79: $14,368
Average Medicare spending continues to steadily increase throughout a person’s 80s:
- Age 80: $14,813 per beneficiary
- Age 81: $15,090
- Age 82: $15,439
- Age 83: $15,821
- Age 84: $16,302
- Age 85: $16,612
- Age 86: $16,906
- Age 87: $17,257
- Age 88: $17,750
- Age 89: $18,249
As people enter their 90s, average Medicare spending dips slightly before reaching its peak at age 94:
- Age 90: $17,913 per beneficiary
- Age 91: $18,139
- Age 92: $18,500
- Age 93: $18,908
- Age 94: $19,253
- Age 95: $19,135
- Age 96: $19,046
- Age 97: $18,462
- Age 98: $18,947
- Age 99: $18,921
Ages 100 and up
Average Medicare spending begins to decline for centenarians, and the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis ends at age 104:
- Age 100: $18,458 per beneficiary
- Age 101: $18,292
- Age 102: $18,251
- Age 103: $17,563
- Age 104: $16,935