Future Elderly Model

Future Elderly Model

The Future Elderly Model (FEM) is an economic-demographic microsimulation developed over the last decade by researchers with funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Institute on Aging, the Department of Labor, and the MacArthur Foundation. Its development is led by the USC Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation, with collaborators from Harvard University, Stanford University, RAND Corporation, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania.

Center researchers have used the FEM to explore a variety of policy questions, ranging from the fiscal future of the U.S., to the role biomedical innovation can play in future health outcomes. The Center has produced 55 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including two special issues of Health Affairs devoted to FEM findings. FEM findings have been featured by several government agencies (in both the White House and Congress) and private organizations interested in aging policy. FEM findings are the centerpiece of a forthcoming National Academy of Science report on the macroeconomic consequences of aging. FEM research has resulted in approximately $15 million in additional funding beyond its core grant, prizes from both Research!America and the MetLife Foundation for impact, and frequent reference in the national and social media. FEM findings will be the centerpiece of a forthcoming National Academy of Science report.

Specific issues analyzed with the FEM include:


  • Value of Delayed Aging
  • Fiscal implications of the widening SES gradient in life expectancy
  • Value of health improvement at older ages
  • Global pharmaceutical policy and health.
  • Medicare reform.
  • Technological advances and their consequences for spending and mortality
  • Consequences of obesity in older Americans.
  • Disability in older populations.
  • Burden of chronic disease among the elderly.
  • Age versus life expectancy as a predictor of health care spending.

For more about the FEM and a full list of publications, click here.