Medicare is our national health insurance for people over the age of 65 (as well as for some people with disabilities). Medicare spending was $502.3 billion in 2009. And every year spending increases, it is expected to increase to $903 billion in 2020. One of the ways to cut back the spending is to put more effort into wellness and prevention.
Over 1/3 of adults are obese in the USA. Obesity increases risk for many chronic diseases like diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. About 36% of adults over 65 are obese. And about 75% of people over 65 years have at least one chronic disease. One way to improve health for older adults, and to reduce spending is to help people to maintain a normal weight, a body mass index within the range of 18.5 to 25. A a recent study found that expanding a community-based weight loss program for overweight and obese adults aged 60-64 could save Medicare $3.0–$3.7 billion over 10 years. The researchers suggest that giving both younger and older adults the opportunity to participate in the weight loss program has the potential to save even more money.