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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Department of Health & Human Services seal

Department of Health & Human Services


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) aims to provide a healthcare system with better care, access to coverage, and improved health. To accomplish this, CMS works in partnership with the entire health care community to improve quality, equity, and outcomes in the health care system and provides health coverage to more than 100 million individuals through Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Designated Services

Getting started with Medicare


Medicare is health insurance for individuals aged 65 or older, and those eligible can sign up three months before turning 65. Over 63 million people are enrolled in Medicare, and many new customers may face challenges in navigating the complex information available as they decide about their coverage. To better support new customers, CMS tested and implemented changes to the “Get Started with Medicare” section on Medicare.gov, providing streamlined navigation and a new tool that explains key deadlines and coverage options. CMS also introduced a concierge service that offers in-depth assistance to new customers calling 1-800-Medicare.

Understanding eligibility results and next steps after the application


HealthCare.gov is the official Health Insurance Marketplace that helps people shop for and enroll in health insurance, and 12.2 million consumers used HealthCare.gov to enroll in coverage in 2023. Health insurance is often a complex product, and consumers can struggle with identifying needs, estimating costs, and comparing plans. Additionally, the average number of plans available to consumers on the Marketplace has increased from 26 in 2019 to 114 in 2023, and while having options benefits consumers overall, it can also make it more difficult to make a meaningful selection. HealthCare.gov is focused on implementing improvements that help customers find and compare plans so they can more easily enroll in a Marketplace plan that is right for them.

Checking eligibility and applying for Medicaid


Medicaid supports health benefits for low-income individuals and other eligible groups. More than 80 million individuals receive health benefits through Medicaid, and eligibility and application processes vary by state. The Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) operates Medicaid.gov which serves as a hub to connect those seeking coverage with the appropriate state agency’s resources to determine eligibility and start the application process. CMCS has observed that over 50% of Medicaid.gov’s more than 7 million unique site visitors are beneficiaries seeking information on eligibility, enrollment, and other resources, and CMCS is prioritizing efforts to improve the customer journey.

Action Plans