Medi·​care | \ ˈme-di-ˌker How to pronounce Medicare (audio) \

Definition of Medicare

: a government program of medical care especially for the aged

First Known Use of Medicare

1953, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Medicare

blend of medical and care

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Time Traveler for Medicare

Time Traveler

The first known use of Medicare was in 1953

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Statistics for Medicare

Cite this Entry

“Medicare.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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Financial Definition of Medicare

What It Is

Medicare is the United States federal government health insurance program for Americans who are 65 years of age and older.

How It Works

When a U.S. citizen turns 65 years old, he may be eligible for Medicare benefits if he meets certain criteria. These benefits are intended to cover the costs of healthcare associated with advanced age. Eligible participants can choose from a number of plan options depending on their needs. All Medicare options require that beneficiaries pay an affordable premium as well as co-payments for all covered healthcare services.

Medicare comprises three separate sections that each deal exclusively with different parts of the healthcare system. Part A covers inpatient care and on-going treatments including hospital stays, in-home care, and nursing homes. Part B covers outpatient care and medical equipment needs like office visits, lab tests, x-rays, medications, and wheelchairs. Part C provides eligible participants with a variety of additional services to choose from depending on their needs.

Why It Matters

Medicare provides Americans with affordable healthcare coverage as they get older, often facing both higher healthcare costs and declining incomes.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce Medicare (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of Medicare

US : a government program that provides medical care especially for old people


Medi·​care | \ ˈmed-i-ˌke(ə)r, -ˌka(ə)r How to pronounce Medicare (audio) \

Medical Definition of Medicare

: a government program of medical care especially for the elderly

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Medi·​care | \ ˈme-di-ˌkar How to pronounce Medicare (audio) \

Legal Definition of Medicare

: a government program of medical care especially for the aged

More from Merriam-Webster on Medicare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Medicare

Comments on Medicare

What made you want to look up Medicare? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


good-natured easy friendliness

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