By Frank Lewis
As Medicare and Medicaid celebrate their 50th anniversary protecting the health and well-being of millions of seniors, people with disabilities and low-income individuals, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Tuesday released updated Medicare state-by-state enrollment numbers, showing that more than 2,140,318 people in Ohio and 55 million Americans are covered by Medicare.
In Ohio, 1,241,692 are covered by Medicare Parts A and B; 898,626 are served by Medicare Advantage; 1,035,905 have a Standalone Prescription Drug Plan; 598,792 have Medicare coverage with a prescription drug plan.
In 1966, approximately 19.1 million Americans were covered by Medicare. In 2012, there were nearly 52 million beneficiaries covered by Medicare. Tuesday’s enrollment numbers represent a three million person increase during the last three years as the Baby Boom generation has started to retire. Medicare beneficiaries depend on the program to provide critical health services such as preventive services, including flu shots and diabetes screenings, hospital stays, lab tests and critical supplies like wheelchairs and prescription drugs.
“Over the last 50 years, Medicare has become part of the fabric of our communities, protecting the well-being and financial security of millions of American families as they age or if they become disabled. In doing so, Medicare has kept up with dramatic demographic changes and led the charge toward improving health care delivery,” Andy Slavitt, CMS acting administrator said. “As we preserve and advance Medicare for future generations, we are focused on helping build a better system with smarter spending that keeps people healthier.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.