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Medicare: A Primer

The Keiser Family Foundation

This primer explains key elements of the Medicare program, which now provides health coverage to 47 million people -- including 39 million people age 65 and older and another 8 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.


*Updated April 2010* to reflect the key changes that affect Medicare included in the health reform law enacted in March 2010.

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