Why was Medicare developed?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Medicare was developed to increase senior citizens’ access to quality health care. In the mid-1960s, about 40% of seniors lived at or below the poverty level and could not afford basic health care. Most physicians donated a day a week of their time to city hospitals (such as Boston City Hospital, Cook County Hospital, Los Angeles County Hospital, etc.) to help provide this care. After being signed into law, more than 19 million people enrolled in Medicare. Today, Medicare enrollment is up to 46 million with payments from the system rising over 150 fold (from $3.2 billion to more than $520 billion). The 65 and older age group continues to be the only age group with essentially universal coverage.


Continue Learning about Medicare

Open Enrollment 2015: What Medicare Beneficiaries Need to Know
Open Enrollment 2015: What Medicare Beneficiaries Need to Know
Medicare beneficiaries may have noticed their mailboxes are filling with brochures and packets from health insurance companies. That’s because the ope...
Read More
Does Medicare cover diabetes education?
American Diabetes AssociationAmerican Diabetes Association
Medicare covers diabetes education services, also known as self-management training and medical nutr...
More Answers
How can Medicare fraud be prevented?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
Here are some tips to Medicare users on how they can help prevent fraud:Safeguard Medicare ID number...
More Answers
What Type of Policy Changes Is AARP Advocating?
What Type of Policy Changes Is AARP Advocating?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.