Duals, Minorities Were Hardest Hit by COVID Among Medicare Beneficiaries, CMS Reports

In a preliminary analysis of fee-for-service Medicare claims and Medicare Advantage encounter data from Jan. 1, 2020, to July 24, 2021, CMS reported more than 4.6 million COVID-19 cases and 1.3 million related hospitalizations among all 63.1 million Medicare beneficiaries. Cases per 100,000 lives varied significantly by state, with Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York seeing the highest rates. COVID-related hospitalizations were more prevalent among Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibles, particularly those who identify as Black or Hispanic. Medicare has paid $18.9 billion for fee-for-service COVID hospitalizations, as of July 24, 2021.

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Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong produces infographics and data stories on health insurance and specialty pharmacy for AIS Health. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting. Before joining AIS in 2018, she worked at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese.

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