The Medicare Program is a set of amendments to Social Security, first passed on July 30, 1965, that provides health insurance for the elderly.
Nowadays, generally, Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities and people with End Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant). Medicare has two parts, Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medicare Insurance, helps cover doctors' services, outpatient hospital care, and some other medical services that Part A does not cover).
In 2003, Medicare provides health care coverage for 40 million Americans. Enrollment is expected to reach 77 million by 2031, when the Baby Boom generation is fully enrolled.
It is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (formerly the Health Care Financing Administration) in the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Medicare uses the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) to determine how much money each doctor should earn, although it is criticized for not paying doctors enough because of the low conversion factor. Because of the nature of RBRVS, it is possible to pay all doctors more or less depending on how much money the person paying (CMS in this case) is willing to pay.
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