Medicare Will Start Using New Life Tables on 4/1/17
On March 8, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they will begin using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2012 Life Tables on 4/1/17. In 2012, the overall expectation of life at birth was 78.8 years, increasing from 78.7 years in 2011.
The CDC summarizes life expectancy by age, race, Hispanic origin, and sex. The 2012 life table may be used to compare life expectancy at any age from birth onward. On the basis of mortality experienced in 2012, a person aged 65 could expect to live an average of 19.3 more years for a total of 84.3 years; a person aged 85 could expect to live an additional 6.6 years for a total of 91.6 years; and a person aged 100 could expect to live an additional 2.3 years, on average (Table A).
Tables 1–18 show complete life tables for 2012 by race (white and black), Hispanic origin, and sex. Life expectancy at birth for 2012 represents the average number of years that a group of infants would live if they were to experience throughout life the age-specific death rates prevailing in 2012. In 2012, life expectancy at birth was 78.8 years, increasing by 0.1 year from 2011.
Changes in mortality levels by age and cause of death can have a major effect on changes in life expectancy. Life expectancy at birth increased 0.1 year in 2012 from 2011 primarily because of decreases in mortality from heart disease, cancer, Influenza and pneumonia, stroke, and Chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD) (6). Increases in life expectancy in 2012 from 2011 for the total population were slightly offset by increases in mortality from suicide and Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. Decreases in mortality from cancer, heart disease, Influenza and pneumonia, CLRD, and unintentional injuries generated an increase in life expectancy among the male population. This increase in life expectancy for males was offset somewhat by increases in mortality from Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, homicide, and suicide.
Similarly, the increase in life expectancy for the female population was mainly brought about by decreases in mortality for heart disease, cancer, Influenza and pneumonia, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. For females, however, the increase in life expectancy was offset by an increase in mortality from suicide (6).
The difference in life expectancy between the sexes was 4.8 years in 2012, unchanged from the difference in 2011. From 1900 to 1975, the difference in life expectancy between the sexes increased from 2.0 years to 7.8 years (Table 19). The increasing gap during these years is attributed to increases in male mortality due to ischemic heart disease and lung cancer, both of which increased largely as the result of men’s early and widespread adoption of cigarette smoking (7,8). Between 1979 and 2010, the difference in life expectancy between the sexes narrowed from 7.8 years to 4.8 years (Table 19). The general decline in the sex difference since 1979 reflects proportionately greater increases in lung cancer mortality for women than for men and proportionately larger decreases in heart disease mortality among men (7,8).