COVID Deepened Racial, Ethnic Disparities in Medicare Mortality Rates

After years of relative stability, the COVID-19 pandemic caused mortality rates to spike in 2020, with non-white populations experiencing far greater disparities. That’s according to a September analysis of CMS data from Avalere Health, which found that non-white Medicare beneficiaries saw mortality rate increases 1.5 to 3.0 times higher than the white population. Overall life expectancy declined by an average of 1.5 years from 2019 to 2020, with researchers attributing 73.8% of the decrease to the pandemic.

© 2021 MMIT

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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