Understanding Medicare

Medicare is a federal health insurance program administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for individuals age 65 or over, individuals with certain disabilities and people with End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Medicare was originally established to provide coverage for individuals 65 and older, who significantly lacked insurance at the time. However, since its inception the program has evolved in a number of significant ways, including extending coverage to those under age 65 who have long-term disabilities. Today, approximately one in seven Americans, or 49 million people, are covered by Medicare; a number which has more than doubled since the program began in 1965.

Medicare’s Unsustainable Future
Learn about numerous obstacles that threaten Medicare's long-term security.

Medicare Parts A, B, C & D
Learn about Medicare’s four distinct parts: Part A, Hospital Insurance; Part B, Medical Insurance; Part C, Medicare Advantage; and Part D, Prescription Drugs.

Medicare Spending and Financing
Learn about how the Medicare program is financed and its historical and projected spending levels.