Report: Medicare to be Depleted by 2024

The annual status of the Social Security and Medicare programs released by the federal government show Medicare’s main trust fund will be depleted by 2024, five years earlier than projected last year. The trustees responsible for the forecast expressed a bleaker view of economic growth compared to last year, influencing their new prediction.

Social Security also received a new projection and is expected to last until 2036—one year earlier than last year.

“But once the fund is exhausted, the incoming annual payroll taxes that pay for the program will only be sufficient to cover three-fourths of the annual retirement benefits it is required to pay seniors,” The Washington Post reported. “By contrast, after the Medicare fund that covers hospital care for the elderly is exhausted, incoming revenue from Medicare taxes will initially be enough to cover 90 percent of annual expenses. That share will decline to about 75 percent by mid-century, then rise to 88 percent by 2085.”

Also highlighted in the report: both programs are currently paying out more in benefits than what is collected in revenue for the first time ever.

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A Summary of the 2011 Annual Report

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