NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2015

In its 50th Year, Medicare Remains Stable
– Trustees Report Shows Sustained Improvement, Credits Affordable Care Act –

New York, NY—The 2015 Medicare Trustees Report brings welcome news as Medicare celebrates 50 years of providing essential health care benefits to older adults. The trustees find that the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund is solvent through 2030—the same as predicted last year and 13 years longer since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

According to the trustees, the HI Trust Fund will be able to pay on Medicare Part A inpatient claims in full for the next 15 years, and the Supplemental Medical Insurance (Part B and Part D) Trust Fund also remains on firm financial footing, ensuring unchanged payment for outpatient care and prescription drug needs.

“The news in this year’s trustees report gives us more to celebrate as Medicare marks its 50th year,” said Joe Baker, President of the Medicare Rights Center. “Its findings confirm that Medicare is not in crisis.”

In recent years, Medicare spending per beneficiary has grown at historically low rates, averaging 1.3 percent over the last five years. Among the trends contributing to this slowed growth, the trustees give credit to provisions in the ACA. Over the next decade, the trustees expect per-enrollee Medicare spending growth (4.2 percent) to continue to be lower than the growth in overall health expenditures (5.1 percent).

Importantly, the report estimates that Part B premiums will remain stable for 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in 2016, though final premium amounts will not be determined until later this year. According to Baker, “A stable Part B premium is no small benefit for the more than 25 million older adults and people with disabilities living on annual incomes of $23,500 or less, a group that represents half of the entire Medicare population.”

Baker concluded, “With such a strong and promising foundation built over the past 50 years, now is the perfect time to look forward. In this spirit, Medicare Rights is making 50 wishes for Medicare’s future, naming policy recommendations to improve the program for its next 50 years. Among these wishes are sustained financing for the Medicare program and expanding assistance for low- and moderate-income beneficiaries.”

Read all 50 wishes and add your own here:  https://www.medicarerights.org/50wishes.

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

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