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Basic info: Medicare 101

A look at the safety net protecting more than 61 million Americans

Medicare is a federal health insurance program created to provide a safety net for America’s senior citizens. Now expanded to cover seniors plus disabled enrollees who meet specific criteria, the program is the largest single health care payer in the nation (Medicaid has more enrollees, but it’s jointly funded by the federal government and each state; Medicare is truly a single-payer system).

Although Medicare’s costs and outcomes are the subject of ongoing debate in the overall health care reform discussion, Medicare remains a wildly popular program with Americans approaching the age of eligibility. As of 2019, there were more than 61 million Americans covered by Medicare.

Read more about Medicare eligibility and enrollment or browse our Medicare FAQs.

Affordable Medicare Plans

Since 2011, we’ve helped more than 2.5 million Americans.

(Step 1 of 2)

Your Medicare card: a user’s guide photo

Your Medicare card: a user’s guide

September 17, 2020 – Key takeaways Most beneficiaries receive their Medicare card about three months before their 65th birthday. If you don’t receive your… Read more

What is Medicare? photo

What is Medicare?

August 1, 2020 – Medicare is the federal health insurance program created to provide health coverage for Americans aged 65 and older. Get more information… Read more

A brief history of Medicare in America photo

A brief history of Medicare in America

September 1, 2019 – How and why was Medicare launched? Credit goes to President Harry S Truman and his administration for making the idea of government-led… Read more

Medicare and the Affordable Care Act photo

Medicare and the Affordable Care Act

April 19, 2019 – Learn how the Affordable Care Act sought to reform the Medicare program by reducing spending and increasing services for beneficiaries.… Read more

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