Baby Boomers: Effect on Health Care

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Baby Boomers Effect on Healthcare
Presented By: Stacey Hillard
Presented To: Professor Houghton
December 5, 2011

Baby Boomers Effect on Healthcare

A baby boomer is a person who was born during the demographic World War II baby boom and who grew up during the period of 1946-1964. This population of Americans will soon be over the age of 65. When the last of the baby boomers reach retirement age, almost 20% of the U.S. population will be 65 and older compared to less than 13% today. By 2030, there will be more than 70 million Americans over age 65 (Taylor, 2005). There is a major concern of how this increased population will affect the healthcare system. Medical care for retiring and aging citizens may strain resources and future generations maybe faced with higher inflation and higher taxes to cover the cost of social security, Medicare, and other retirement benefits (Taylor, 2005). Many people are already feeling the effects with increased cost of premiums, deductibles, and prescription medication.

At some point this population is going to require healthcare. According to, Giganle (2010), over 60% of adults between the ages of 50 to 64 who are working or has a spouse that is working have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. By 2020, Boomers will account for 4 in 10 office visits to physicians. Over the next 20 years, Boomers will make up a greater proportion of hospitalizations as they live longer but with multiple complex conditions (Giganle, 2010). Prescription drugs will become a major part of medical treatment and is expected to be a major expense. According to the Congressional Budget Office, spending for programs such as Medicare and Medicaid accounted for 3% each of gross domestic budget in 2009. By 2035, spending for Medicare alone will have more than doubled to 8% and by 2080 it would have grown to approximately 15% (Peterson,...