If you’re approaching age 65, you’re likely waiting for your opportunity to join Medicare, the U.S. federal health insurance program. Many people consider this moment a milestone and wait to retire until they are eligible for this federal benefit, which helps with the cost of health care as your income shifts into a fixed state.
Medicare enrollment has been on an upward trend for over a decade. Total benefit payments increased by $269 billion from 2008 and 2018 and in the latter year, accounted for 15% of federal spending. That expenditure is expected to rise to 18% by 2029. Once you enroll in this rapidly growing health insurance program, you’ll be joining 62.8 million other Americans who use Medicare health insurance programs as of 2020 — counting those with Part A and/or B — and 47.4 million people also receive coverage for prescription drugs via Part D. These figures represent an increase of roughly 1.5 million people per year in each category of coverage.