A recent report from the University for Southern California’s Schaeffer Center of Health Policy and Economics says Baby Boomers will set another trend: more of them will need care for chronic conditions than any generation before them. According to the report, after the last of the baby boomers is fully eligible for Medicare, the federal health program can expect significantly higher costs – starting in 2030 – both because of the high number of beneficiaries and because many baby boomers are expected to be significantly less healthy than previous generations, which I find rather interesting since both my parents and all their friends smoked multiple packs of cigarettes a day.
But, according to the report, Baby Boomers are in worse health because they are more likely to be obese, disabled and suffering from chronic conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure than those on Medicare in 2010. Adjusted for inflation, overall Medicare spending is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2030 to about $1.2 trillion. A massive influx of baby boomers into Medicare will be the main driver. With the last baby boomers turning 65 in 2029, Medicare rolls are expected to number 67 million Americans in 2030, the Schaeffer Center says. Costs per beneficiary could grow by 50 percent over the same time due to longer life expectancies, shifting health trends and medical cost inflation, the report says.