Women and Medicare

Medicare is a critical source of health insurance coverage for virtually all older women in the U.S. and for many younger women who have permanent disabilities. Because women have longer life expectancies than men, more than half (57%) of the people covered by the program are women. In 1999, there were 21 million women on Medicare 19 million ages 65 and over and another 2 million women under age 65 with disabilities who received Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. This fact sheet highlights the health needs and financial security concerns of women on Medicare. Prescription drug coverage, supplemental insurance, and out-of-pocket costs are highlighted as key issues for women.