As Medicare Nears 50 Years, Enrollment in California Reaches 5.6M
As of May, more than 5.6 million Californians were enrolled in Medicare, adding to the program's significant growth since it was implemented 50 years ago, according to new CMS data, Healthcare Finance reports.
On Tuesday, CMS released data to demonstrate Medicare's growth since it was signed into law on July 30, 1965 (Powderly, Healthcare Finance, 7/28). This week, organizations nationwide are celebrating the program's 50th anniversary, including the California Nurses Association, which is hosting a Medicare-at-50 event.
According to the data, more than 55 million U.S. residents were enrolled in Medicare as of May. By 2030, enrollment is expected to reach 81 million (Buck, Sacramento Bee, 7/28).
As of May, about:
- 3.2 million Californians were enrolled in Medicare Parts A and/or B;
- 2.3 million Californians were enrolled in Medicare Advantage;
- 2 million Californians were enrolled in a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan; and
- 2.2 million Californians were enrolled in MA with Part D coverage (Healthcare Finance, 7/28).
According to the Bee, some health care experts are concerned about the program's long-term funding, costs and coverage as the program continues to grow.
Elaine Wong Eakin, executive director of California Health Advocates, asked, "Will [Medicare] still be there [in 15 years], will it be the same program as when it started?," adding, "Some things are better; some are not" (Sacramento Bee, 7/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.