Medicare Fund Drying Up
By the year 2024, when the oldest Boomers are 78 and the youngest are just turning 60, Medicare funds will be "exhausted." The term is a bit dramatic, though. What this really means is that the program will only be able to pay 75% of projected expenses. Still, that's the unsettling news. It comes from this year's annual report released by the program's trustees but they point out that at least the projection hasn't changed since last year. They also note that without the Affordable Care Act, the money would in fact be seriously depleted by 2016, just four years from now.
MedPage Today reports that the reason the estimate stayed the same this year is due in part to a new statistical calculation but that lower-than-expected hospital expenses also played a part. The long-term outlook is not good, however. The American Medical Association, according to MedPage Today, said the report was "more evidence of the urgent need to fix the Medicare physician payment formula to prevent possible problems with access to care."