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Medicare: A Primer

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Publication Date: December 2008

Publisher(s): Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Topic: Health (Health care financing)

Keywords: Medicare; coverage; costs

Type: Report

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

This primer explains key elements of the Medicare program, which now provides health coverage to 45 million people -- including nearly 38 million people age 65 and older and another seven million younger adults with permanent disabilities. It looks at the characteristics of the Medicare population, what benefits are covered, how much people with Medicare pay for their benefits and the program’s overall costs and future financing challenges.