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Diabetes Occurrence, Costs, and Access to Care among Medicare Beneficiaries Aged 65 Years and Over

Few diseases in the United States can match the health and economic toll wrought by diabetes, especially in the older population. One in 11 Americans overall—and one in five Americans aged 65 years and over—has been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.Direct medical costs for diabetes in the United States totaled $176 billion in 2012.

Using data from the 2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), this report presents prevalence and access to care patterns of persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes among Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and over. This report also compares the outcomes of beneficiaries with and without diabetes, both in terms health status and personal health care expenses. We found that Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes face challenges regarding access to care, out-of-pocket expenses, and overall health status.