Heart disease has been the leading cause of death for Americans aged 65 years and over for the past several decades. Heart conditions as a category represent one of the most common, burdensome, and expensive health problems among the Medicare population. Congestive heart failure and heart rhythm problems are two of the five most common specific causes for inpatient admissions of Americans age 65 years and over. Direct medical costs associated with heart disease (not including stroke) totaled $281 billion in 2015 in the United States—a figure that could more than double by 2035, due to the expanding population of older Americans.
Using data from the 2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), this report presents the prevalence and impact (utilization, total cost of care, and out-of-pocket health care costs) of having a heart condition on the Medicare population aged 65 years and over.
Forty-two percent of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and over have at least one heart condition.