On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the bill that led to Medicare and Medicaid. The original Medicare program included Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical coverage), which are called “Original Medicare” today.1
Other important milestones include:2
- 1966 – Medicare was implemented and more than 19 million individuals enrolled by July 1.
- 1972 – Medicare eligibility was extended to individuals under age 65 with long-term disabilities and to individuals with ESRD.
- 1980 – Medicare Supplement insurance, also called “Medigap,” was brought under federal oversight.
- 2001 – The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) was renamed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
- 2003 – The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) made the most significant changes to Medicare since the program began, including a new, optional, outpatient prescription drug benefit.
- 2010 – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as the Affordable Care Act, was signed into law and prohibited health insurance companies from denying or charging more for coverage based on an individual’s health status.
- 2013 – The Health Insurance Marketplace opened and Americans were able to shop for health coverage without being denied or charged more because of a preexisting condition.