A Brief History of Medicare

Why is Medicare so complex?  Why is Medicare such a political firestorm?  We at Plan Medicare know that in order to understand the complex Medicare landscape today, it is essential to look at the history of the program. We have created this brief timeline, which outlines the history of Medicare, from its inception in 1966 through today.

1945 – President Harry S. Truman suggested a national health insurance plan, but his idea was rejected by Congress.  Several bills were created in the 1940’s for Medicare, and not a single one of them passed.

1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill passing Medicare. 19 million Americans,  who were over the age of 65, enrolled for Medicare.  President Harry S. Truman also received a Medicare card as part of a special ceremony and was recognized for his efforts to bring Medicare insurance to the public.  Medicare Part A and Part B were created at this time; modified versions are still used today.

1972 – President Richard M. Nixon signed a bill modifying the Medicare program, which allowed certain people under the age of 65 to get Medicare insurance.  They were required to show proof of a long-term disability to obtain coverage.

1980 – New bills were signed, one of which was Medigap, the others altered the home health services for Medicare recipients.  Medigap became available through private companies and served as the primary Medicare supplement program that covered services that Medicare did not.

1997 – Medicare+Choice, also known as Part C, was created, which gave people more options from private insurance companies.  (The name was changed to Medicare Advantage in 2003).

2003 – Medicare Part D was created by President George W. Bush, which allowed eligible recipients to obtain prescription drug coverage.

2010– Part D was modified to reduce the burden on people, by making the out-of-pocket costs lower than it had been in previous years.   In addition Medicare patients got free preventive care and free wellness visits.  Medicare provided health insurance to 48 million Americans—40 million people age 65 and older and eight million people under the age of 65, with disabilities.

Today – It is estimated that 50 million people in the United States are using Medicare today.

If you are interested in learning more about Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement plans and more please contact Plan Medicare today.

About Plan Medicare

Located in Melville, New York, Plan Medicare is a consulting agency formed to aid in understanding the many facets of Medicare.  Plan Medicare helps determine eligibility, clarify options and assist in the enrollment process.  Representatives are available 365 days a year to answer questions on payments, billing, policy, updates and changes and enrolling in new plans and policies. The health care landscape is constantly changing; it can be confusing and frustrating to try to figure out what kind of plan will work best.  Assistance is available, however. We make Medicare easy.