Glossary Term

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) oversees health coverage for more than 160 million Americans through the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Affordable Care Act health insurance plans. The oldest of these programs, Medicare and Medicaid, were created in 1965 through the passage of the Social Security Amendments of 1965. While these programs were originally administered through the Social Security Administration, in 1977 the government created the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), later renamed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

CMS’s influence extends from the regulation of Medicare, including administratively set prices, and Medicaid to the management of the federal health insurance exchange,, to setting quality standards for health programs under its governance. CMS has multiple subagencies within it including CCIIO, The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. CCIIO assists with the ongoing implementation and maintenance of reforms from the Affordable Care Act.

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