TABLE 9-2   Medicaid Spending by Age, 2004

Age Group Per Capita Medicaid Spending, 2004 ($) Share of Medicaid Spending by Age Group (%)
0–18   819 24
19–44   662 27
45–54   737 11
55–64 1,026 11
65–74 1,112   8
75–84 2,058 10
85+ 5,424 10

SOURCE: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2011b).

As noted in Chapter 3, increases in life expectancy are projected to significantly increase the share of people aged 85 and older. Thus, population aging may increase the demands on Medicaid. For example, assuming that relative Medicaid spending by age remains constant at the 2004 levels, projected changes in the age distribution of the population would raise Medicaid spending by about 10 percent by 2035 and 15 percent by 2050. Medicaid expenditure growth is also affected by excess cost growth in health spending (Table 9-1) as well by the recently enacted health reform, which expanded eligibility for the program. Taking into account the expected slowdown in health spending growth, the aging of the population, and the effects of the recently enacted health reform, the CBO projects (Figure 9-3) that federal spending for Medicaid and other non-Medicare health programs (the much smaller Children’s Health Insurance program


FIGURE 9-3  Projected federal spending on Medicaid and other health programs, 2011–2050. SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office (2011, Underlying Tables, Table B-1, Extended Baseline).

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