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Brief Summaries of Medicare & Medicaid

These Medicare/Medicaid summaries review the history and major provisions of Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Social Security Act, as well as the history of health spending in the U.S. and projected national health expenditures.

Highlights of the Medicare summary:

  • Entitlement and coverage;
  • Program financing, beneficiary payment liabilities, and payments to providers;
  • Medicare claims processing; and
  • Administration of the Medicare program.

Highlights of the Medicaid summary:

  • Medicaid eligibility;
  • Scope, amount, and duration of Medicaid services;
  • Payment for Medicaid services;
  • Medicaid trends; and
  • The Medicaid-Medicare relationship.

Note: The following are brief summaries of complex subjects. They should be used only as overviews and general guides to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policies or legal positions of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These summaries do not render any legal, accounting, or other professional advice, nor are they intended to explain fully all of the provisions or exclusions of the relevant laws, regulations, and rulings of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Original sources of authority should be researched and utilized.

Note: Archive documents are historical summaries. They do not reflect subsequent developments in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, or in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Read the current document for subsequent developments. See the links in the Downloads section below.