What is Medicare?
The Medicare program began in 1965 to provide health insurance for people age 65 or older. Today, Medicare is the nation’s largest health insurance program. It covers more than 43 million people over age 65 and those under age 65 with certain disabilities.
Original Medicare has traditionally provided coverage for health care services such as hospital stays, skilled nursing care and doctor visits through approved Medicare providers. Medicare also provides prescription drug coverage, also known as Medicare Part D. Additionally, Medicare offers alternate health plan options such as Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) , a federal agency that is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.