Medicare’s Costs Stabilize, But Its Problems Are Far From Fixed

Medical outlook.i i


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Medical outlook.

Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which finances about half of the health program for seniors and the disabled, won’t run out of money until 2030, the program’s trustees said Monday. That’s four years later than projected last year, and 13 years later than projected the year before the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

But that’s not the case for the part of Social Security that pays for people getting disability benefits. The Disability Insurance Trust Fund is projected to run out of money in 2016, just two years from now, unless Congress intervenes, the trustees said.

“Medicare is considerably stronger than it was just four years ago,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Monday. She noted that slower growth of the program’s spending will very likely mean that the Medicare Part B premium charged to beneficiaries — currently $104.90 per month — remains the same for the third year in a row. “That’s a growth rate of zero percent,” she noted.

One doctor weighs his dealings with Medicare.

All the trustees, however, including the secretaries of HHS, Treasury and Labor and two public members, stressed that Medicare’s financial problems are far from fixed, particularly as 78 million baby boomers are

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/07/28/336110394/medicare-costs-stabilize-but-its-problems-are-far-from-fixed?ft=1&f=131849999

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