About Medicare

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What is Medicare?

About Medicare

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, is the federal agency that administers the Medicare program. The Medicare insurance program, which turned 40 in 2005, provides health insurance coverage to nearly 40 million Americans. Covered individuals include those age 65 and older, some people with disabilities under age 65, and people with end-stage renal disease. End-stage renal disease, also known as ESRD, is permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. CMS was formerly known as the Health Care Financing Administration, or HCFA, but was renamed in 2001.



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