Optimal Observes Medicare’s 50th Anniversary

Date: July 24, 2015
Location: College Park, MD

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) observed Medicare’s 50th anniversary in July of 2015. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the insurance program for retired persons into the Social Security Act on July 30, 1965. Since then, Medicare has included benefits for speech, physical, and chiropractic therapy; benefits for younger people who have permanent disabilities, end-stage renal disease, or suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; hospice care; and most recently, prescription drugs.

In Medicare’s first year, 19 million people were covered. Today, more than 55 million people are covered. Medicare has been credited with the decline in the elderly poverty rate and the creation of thousands of jobs. Medicare has benefited from the Affordable Care Act because beneficiaries don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for preventative screenings, annual wellness visits, or personalized preventative plans. It is estimated that by the time the last of the Baby Boomers reach 65, close to 80 million people will be covered by Medicare. While Medicare’s growth has been a relied upon benefit for millions who need it, it also focuses on delivering cost-effective quality healthcare.

To observe Medicare’s anniversary, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) held a Brown Bag birthday celebration, complete with balloons and learning activities on July 24, 2015, where project teams that work with CMS spoke about the program, its history, and the role Optimal plays in Medicare’s continuing development. Optimal’s CMS projects include the Ombudsman Program Support contract, the Evaluation and Oversight of Qualified Independent Contractors contract, the Part C and Part D Reporting Requirements Data Validation contracts, and the Learning System Data Management contract.