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Basic info: Medicare 101

A look at the safety net protecting nearly 60 million senior citizens

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 2018, there were more than 59 million Americans covered by Medicare.

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

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A brief history of Medicare in America

May 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

April 19, 2019 – The Affordable Care Act produced a long list of provisions intended to contain Medicare costs while increasing revenue, improving and… Read more

What is Medicare?

What is Medicare?

September 11, 2018 – Medicare is the federal health insurance program created in 1965 to provide health coverage for Americans aged 65 and older. The program… Read more