Medicare, established under Title XVIII as part of the Social Security Act of 1965, is the federal health care financing program that provides health insurance for the elderly, the disabled, and those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Generally, Medicare covers care that is reasonable, necessary, and related to a diagnosed illness or injury. Medicare currently has four programs, which provide a variety of services to its enrollees (beneficiaries). These programs include Part A for inpatient services, Part B for outpatient and physician services, Medicare Advantage for those services provided by private health plans, and Part D for those prescription drugs not covered under Parts A or B.

The Medicare program has evolved significantly since its inception, as a result of changes to the original statute. ...

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