History of Medicare

1902  -  The first U.S. workmen's compensation law was enacted.  This law was later declared        


1915  -  Thirty states enacted the first major legislation to require employers to insure their workers against

              industrial accidents - also known as workmen's compensation

1935  -  The first federal government health insurance bill was introduced in Congress

1945  -  President Harry S. Truman became the first sitting president to officially endorse national health


1961  -  President John F. Kennedy sent a message to Congress recommending health insurance for the

             elderly under Social Security

1965  -  President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare and Medicaid programs into law

1972  -  Medicare eligibility was extended to people with disabilities and to people with end-stage renal

             disease (ESRD)

1973  -  The HMO Act provided for start-up grants and loans for the development of health maintenance

              organizations (HMOs)

1977  -  The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) was established to administer the Medicare and

              Medicaid programs

1981  -  The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) standardized Medicare supplement


1983  -  The diagnosis-related group (DRG) prospective payment system began.  Medicare members could

             enroll in an HMO or managed care plan

1997  -  The Medicare+Choice program (now known as Medicare Advantage) was enacted

1998  -  The internet site www.medicare.gov was launched

1999  -  The toll-free number 1-800-MEDICARE was available nationwide and the first annual "Medicare &

              You" handbook was mailed to beneficiaries

2003  -  President George W. Bush signed the "Medicare Modernization Act" into law, which adds an

             outpatient prescription drug benefit to Medicare (also known as Part D), among other changes

2007  -  Beneficiaries with higher income levels began paying a higher Part B premium

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