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On its 50th anniversary, more than 55 million Americans covered by Medicare

As Medicare and Medicaid celebrate their 50th anniversary protecting the health and well-being of millions of seniors, people with disabilities and low-income individuals, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released updated Medicare state-by-state enrollment numbers, showing that more than 55 million Americans are covered by Medicare.

In 1966, approximately 19.1 million Americans were covered by Medicare. In 2012, there were nearly 52 million beneficiaries covered by Medicare. Today’s enrollment numbers represent a three million person increase during the last three years as the Baby Boom generation has started to retire. Medicare beneficiaries depend on the program to provide critical health services such as preventive services, including flu shots and diabetes screenings, hospital stays, lab tests and critical supplies like wheelchairs and prescription drugs.

CMS also releases state-by-state Medicaid enrollments on a monthly basis. As of May 2015, over 71.6 million individuals were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) with 12.8 million more gaining coverage since 2013. More information is available on Medicaid.gov.