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Medicare enrollment form Understanding the association of Medicare with access to care and health outcomes, and by race and ethnicity, informs the ongoing debate over Medicare expansion.

Expanding eligibility for Medicare can increase health equity by closing gaps in insurance coverage.

“Medicare provides nearly universal health insurance to individuals at age 65 years,” according to a study reported by JAMA Network. “How eligibility for Medicare affects racial and ethnic disparities in access to care and health is poorly understood. By comparing individuals before and after age 65 years, we found that eligibility for Medicare coverage was associated with reductions in racial and ethnic disparities in insurance coverage, access to care and self-reported health.”

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