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Medicare Advantage History: Legislative Milestones

Created in 1965, Medicare initially included Inpatient/Hospital insurance (Part A) and Outpatient/Medical insurance (Part B) and paid providers directly on a fee-for-service basis. The program has seen many legislative reforms over the years, including the addition of Medicare Advantage (Part C) in 1996. Although this change formally allowed enrollees to receive their Medicare benefits from a private insurance plan that contracts with the federal government, health plans have long played an important role in Medicare. In this fact sheet, we trace that evolution.

This work was supported in part by Arnold Ventures. Medicare Rights Center maintains full editorial control over all of its policy analysis and communications activities.

Policy Issues: Medicare Advantage
Protect & Strengthen Medicare

Any changes to the Medicare program must aim for healthier people, better care, and smarter spending—not paying more for less. As policymakers debate the future of health care, we will provide our insights here.

30 Policy Goals

Thinking ahead to Medicare's future, it’s important to modernize benefits and pursue changes that improve how people with Medicare navigate their coverage on a daily basis. Here are our evolving 30 policy goals for Medicare’s future.

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