Medicare is the federal health program that provides health coverage to 50 million Americans ages 65 and older and younger adults with permanent disabilities. While Medicare plays an important role for nonelderly people with disabilities, Medicare is also a critical source of retirement security for 22.4 million women ages 65 and over, who tend to have lower incomes and more chronic conditions than older men.
Medicaid, a jointly financed state-federal health coverage program for the poor and low-income, provides more than 22 million low-income women with basic health and long-term care coverage. Because women are more likely than men to fall into one of the eligibility categories for Medicaid and are more likely than men to be poor, women comprise over two-thirds of beneficiaries.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that funds basic health care services for 47 million individuals who are elderly and/or have disabilities. Without Medicare, these millions of individuals would have difficulty accessing or paying for hospital care, physician visits, diagnostic testing, preventive services and prescription drugs.
Older women rely on Medicare every day for affordable, quality health care. More than half of the 48.7 million Medicare beneficiaries are women. Women also constitute 70 percent of the oldest Medicare beneficiaries1 – those 85 years or older.
Read Dr. Dodd's testimony to Senate Finance Committee
“I am fifty years old and the 27 years I have been working have been a combination of full-time and part-time employment, with several years of no employment so that I could stay home with my baby. I am back to work full-time now but want to know how all of this will affect my Social Security benefit when I am retired?”
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