Medicare is disproportionately important for women and for aging people of color since they are least able to afford the high cost of healthcare and the most likely to have health issues. These groups are also more likely to be dual eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
· Nationally, 58% of Medicare enrollees are women.
· Senior women are significantly more likely to have incomes under $20,000 annually than men and at the same time to have higher out of pocket medical expenses than men. See more: http://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/medicares-role-for-older-women/
· Women have more chronic conditions and live longer than men, on average. Nationally, 49% of women with Medicare report having 3 or more chronic conditions compared to just 38% of men. Women are more likely to suffer from arthritis, hypertension, and osteoporosis than men and are more likely to report suffering from cognitive impairments and physical limitations.
· Women live longer, on average, than men do, resulting in the need for Medicare-funded services for more years of their lives. Nationally, the life expectancy for women in 2010 was 81.1 years compared to 76.2 for men.
· Medicare has a critical role in reducing health disparities among older Americans. Upon reaching 65 virtually all Americans—rich and poor, minority and white—become eligible. Among enrollees under the age of 65 who qualify because of a disability, disproportionate shares are people of color. To see who gets Medicare by race and ethnicity in your state: http://www.kff.org/medicare/state-indicator/medicare-beneficiaries-by-raceethnicity/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
 More data on women and Medicare: https://nwlc.org/resources/importance-medicare-women/