What Percentage of Americans are on Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare and Medicaid are two major public health insurance programs in the United States that provide coverage for specific populations. But what percentage of Americans are actually enrolled in these programs? Let’s take a closer look at the latest statistics on Medicare and Medicaid enrollment.

A Brief Overview of Medicare and Medicaid

First, a quick primer on what these programs are:

  • Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for people aged 65 and older and certain younger people with disabilities. Medicare has different parts that cover hospital care (Part A), medical services (Part B), and prescription drugs (Part D).

  • Medicaid is a jointly funded federal and state health insurance program that provides coverage for some low-income individuals and families. Medicaid eligibility and benefits can vary quite a bit by state.

Both programs aim to provide health coverage for populations that may otherwise struggle to get affordable care. Now let’s look at the percentages of Americans enrolled.

Medicare Enrollment in 2022

According to the latest data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 18.7% of the total US population had Medicare coverage in 2022. That equates to about 61 million Americans with Medicare.

Here’s a breakdown of Medicare enrollment by age group in 2022:

  • Ages 65 and older: 95%
  • Ages 55-64: 16%
  • Ages 45-54: 9%
  • Ages 35-44: 6%
  • Ages 18-34: 2%

Clearly, the majority of Medicare beneficiaries are seniors aged 65 and up, which is Medicare’s primary target population.

But younger Americans with long-term disabilities can also qualify for Medicare before age 65. So about 5% of Medicare enrollees are actually under age 65.

Key Trends in Medicare Enrollment

Looking over the past decade, Medicare enrollment has steadily risen along with the growing senior population in the US.

Back in 2013, Medicare covered 15.6% of the total population. By 2022 that had increased to 18.7% – adding nearly 10 million more Medicare enrollees over the decade.

Medicare has also seen particular growth among Americans aged 45-64. This age bracket went from 5% enrolled in 2013 up to 9% by 2022.

As the large baby boomer generation continues to reach Medicare eligibility age, enrollment is expected to continue rising. Projections estimate over 80 million Americans will have Medicare by 2030.

Medicaid Enrollment in 2022

In 2022, 18.8% of Americans had Medicaid coverage at some point during the year based on Census data. That equates to about 62 million people covered by Medicaid.

Let’s look at Medicaid enrollment broken down by age:

  • Ages 0-18 years: 41%
  • Ages 19-34 years: 16%
  • Ages 35-54 years: 11%
  • Ages 55-64 years: 8%
  • Ages 65+ years: 9%

Clearly, Medicaid covers a substantial percentage of children in the US. Over 4 in 10 Americans under age 19 have health coverage through Medicaid programs like CHIP.

Medicaid provides important medical assistance for low-income families. Nearly half of all births in the country are covered by Medicaid.

Among working age adults 19-64, 12% had Medicaid coverage in 2022. Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has helped extend coverage to more low-income adults without children.

Even some seniors rely on Medicaid for additional coverage beyond Medicare, including help with long term care costs.

Trends in Medicaid Enrollment

Over the past decade, Medicaid enrollment has grown significantly:

  • In 2013, 16.3% of Americans had Medicaid coverage.
  • By 2022, enrollment had risen to 18.8% of the population.

That’s over 12 million more people covered by Medicaid now compared to a decade ago.

The pandemic also had an impact on Medicaid rolls. Between February 2020 and February 2022, Medicaid enrollment surged by nearly 18 million people during the public health emergency.

While enrollment has eased somewhat as the pandemic subsided, Medicaid continues to play a critical role in providing health coverage for millions of lower-income Americans.

Dual Eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid

There is also a segment of the population covered under both major programs. These “dual eligible” individuals have both Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

In 2022, roughly 12 million Americans were dually enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. That’s about 4% of the total US population with this dual coverage.

Most Medicare-Medicaid enrollees are very low-income seniors or younger disabled individuals. Having dual coverage allows them to get assistance with Medicare premiums and cost-sharing along with expanded Medicaid benefits.

States with higher senior poverty rates tend to have higher dual eligible populations. The top 5 states for dual Medicare-Medicaid enrollment in 2022 were:

  1. California (1.5 million)
  2. New York (1.4 million)
  3. Florida (1.1 million)
  4. Texas (1.1 million)
  5. Pennsylvania (700,000)

Understanding dual eligibility statistics can help states optimize care coordination and resources for this high-needs population.

Key Takeaways on Medicare and Medicaid Enrollment

  • 18.7% of Americans have Medicare and 18.8% have Medicaid, based on 2022 Census statistics.

  • Medicare predominantly covers seniors 65+, while Medicaid provides coverage for over 40% of children.

  • Both programs have seen steady enrollment growth over the past decade, adding over 20 million more covered Americans combined from 2013 to 2022.

  • An additional 4% of the population has dual Medicare and Medicaid benefits to assist with costs.

  • Continued growth is expected in the coming decade as the population ages. Monitoring enrollment statistics will remain important for policymakers.

Hopefully this breakdown gives some useful perspective on the percentage of Americans relying on these major public health insurance programs. Medicare and Medicaid play a vital role in providing coverage, especially for older and lower-income populations.

Medicare & Medicaid 101


What percentage of people over 65 are on Medicare?

Traditional Medicare
85 and older
Senior status
Under 65
65 and older

What percentage of the US population qualifies for Medicaid?

The percentage of Americans covered by the Medicaid public health insurance plan increased from 17.8 percent in 2020 to around 18.8 percent in 2022. However, the percentage of those insured through Medicaid remains lower than the peak of 19.6 percent in 2015.

What percentage of Americans are uninsured in 2023?

The uninsured rate in early 2023 has reached an all-time low of 7.7% among all U.S. residents, indicating that 6.3 million people have gained health insurance coverage since 2020.

What percent of US population is uninsured?

% in last week of survey

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