Filed Under:Health Insurance, Medicare

Trustees: Medicare about 22% short

The present value of future spending is $21 trillion. The present value of the gap is $4.6 trillion.
The present value of future spending is $21 trillion. The present value of the gap is $4.6 trillion.

The estimated present value of the cash needed to keep the Medicare hospitalization fund solvent over the next 75 years has fallen to $4.9 trillion this year, from $5.4 trillion a year ago.

The new "unfunded obligation" figure amounts to 22 percent of the $21 trillion in benefits Medicare hospitalization fund trustees now expect the fund to have to pay out from 2013 through 2087.

The total amount of assets the Medicare trust fund actually has on hand has fallen to  $220 billion, from $244 billion.

The trustees noted that Congress requires them to assume that Congress will allow implementation of several controversial Medicare budget-cutting measures, including a "sustainable growth rate" (SGR) law enacted in 1997 that is supposed to hold increases in Medicare physician pay rates to the same level as the rate of growth of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
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