Medicare Trust Fund Exhaustion Pushed Back Until 2030

Medicare on July 28, 2014 | Posted by Jennifer Jordan, JD, MSCC

In its Trustees Report released July 28, 2014, CMS announced that the Medicare trust fund will remain solvent until 2030, four more years than previously projected, due in part to cost controls implemented in the Affordable Care Act. Factors that contributed to the improved outlook included lower than expected spending in 2013 and decreased overall utilization by Medicare beneficiaries. Due to these figures, the agency does not anticipate an increase in Part B premiums for 2015.

Other figures of interest in the Trustees Report were the Medicare enrollment and spending numbers for 2013. Of the 52.3 million people covered by Medicare, 8.8 million of them were enrolled due to disability as opposed to age. Of the total, 14.6 million people (28%) were enrolled in a Part C plan, meaning that CMS has no idea how much they actually utilized in services, as only their capitation rate is included in the figures. Most importantly, Medicare spent $582.9 billion against $575.8 billion in total income, leaving a $7.1 billion deficit. Until Medicare stops spending more than it has available, a nearly impossible task when another Baby Boomer becomes entitled every eight seconds for the next several years, CMS will continue to look for ways to replenish the trust fund and stop spending where it can. Thus, it appears the MSP compliance industry will remain intact for the foreseeable future.

The report is available at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2014.pdf