Kaiser – An Overview of Medicare

beSpacific 2016-04-01

Kaiser Family Foundation – “Medicare is the federal health insurance program created in 1965 for people ages 65 and over, regardless of income, medical history, or health status. The program was expanded in 1972 to cover people under age 65 with permanent disabilities. Today, Medicare plays a key role in providing health and financial security to 55 million older people and younger people with disabilities. The program helps to pay for many medical care services, including hospitalizations, physician visits, and prescription drugs, along with post-acute care, skilled nursing facility care, home health care, hospice care, and preventive services. Medicare spending accounted for 15 percent of total federal spending in 20151 and 23 percent of national personal health spending in 2014. Most people ages 65 and over are entitled to Medicare Part A if they or their spouse are eligible for Social Security payments and have paid payroll taxes for 10 or more years. People under age 65 who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments generally become eligible for Medicare after a two-year waiting period, while those diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) become eligible for Medicare with no waiting period…”