Monday, December 13, 2021

Very Brief Blog: 600,000 Medicare Beneficiaries Died of COVID

On December 13, 2021, NYT runs an article focusing on the age distribution of COVID deaths.  600,000 of 800,000 deaths so far, or 3/4, have been in the 65 and over population. For perspective, laid end-to-end, the caskets of Medicare beneficiaries would stretch about 700 miles.  

See the link -

As shown in the graphic, in the first 12 pandemic months, the over-65 death proportion was always 75% or above.  It fell to about 60% during the Delta surge last summer and early fall.  Today it's running about 75% again.

In 2020, 63M people were enrolled in Medicare, 54M age 65 or older.  Medicare Advantage is about 26M (26M/63M = 40% are in Medicare Advantage).

With 600K deaths / 60M beneficiaries, about 1% of Medicare beneficiaries have died of COVID.  Only about 1/4 of 1% of the total US population (800K/350M) have died of COVID.

In the first pandemic year, through February 2021, about 500K died of COVID.  It's still several months to the end of February 2022, and the death toll March 2021 to Feb 2022 will likely be fairly close to 500K again, since it's already over 300K and rises faster in Jan/Feb.