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Origins of Medicare

In 1965, the Social Security Act established both Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare was a responsibility of the Social Security Administration (SSA), while Federal assistance to the State Medicaid programs was administered by the Social and Rehabilitation Service (SRS). SSA and SRS were agencies in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare(HEW). In 1977, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) was created under HEW to effectively coordinate Medicare and Medicaid. In 1980 HEW was divided into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In 2001, HCFA was renamed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS is the federal agency, which administers the Medicare Program. Currently, Medicare, provides coverage to approximately 40 million Americans. Medicare is the national health insurance program for:

  • People age 65 or older
  • Some people under age 65 with disabilities
  • People with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which is permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant

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Additional Medicare Resources and Topics

Last Modified on Thursday, September 16, 2004