Silver Book Fact
In 2001, 5% of Medicare beneficiaries accounted for 43% of Medicare spending. For these beneficiaries, health care spending averaged around $63,000 per year. The bottom 50% of beneficiaries accounted for only 4% of spending–with an average cost of around $550 per year.
Congressional Budget Office. High-Cost Medicare Beneficiaries. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Budget Office; May 2005. http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/63xx/doc6332/05-03-MediSpending.pdf