The federal government says the outlook for Medicare funds has improved slightly over the last year.
Instead of running out of money in 2026, it’s now estimated the system’s hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030. In addition, Social Security is expected to remain solvent until 2034. Social Security's finances are relatively unchanged from a year ago. Medicare's improved finances are largely due to a continuing slowdown in health care spending, the report said.
The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare issued their annual report July 28 on the financial health of the government's two largest benefit programs.
But, while there has been some improvement, both Medicare and Social Security face long-term financial problems that will grow as more and more baby boomers reach retirement age.
And, a near-term crisis looms in the disability trust fund, which could fall short in just two years.
Medicare and Social Security accounted for 41 percent of all federal spending last year.
Medicare is adding 10,000 new beneficiaries a day as baby boomers reach age 65. But the report said costs per beneficiary were essentially unchanged in 2013, for the second year in a row. That is a contrast with previous years, when both per-person costs and overall enrollment were growing.