On Monday, the Medicare and Social Security Trustees released their annual report. Since it is 283 pages long, I'll give you the highlights as transmitted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) Media Center and NBC News.
If, at this point, you are inclined to fall asleep or click over to cuteoverload, you might want to pause for moment to read the good news:
”The Medicare Trustees today projected that the trust fund that finances Medicare’s hospital insurance coverage will remain solvent until 2030, four years beyond what was projected in last year’s report.”
It is due to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that both solvency of the trust fun and quality of care has been improved. In addition,
”Medicare spending per beneficiary has grown quite slowly over the past few years and is projected to continue to grow slowly over the next several years.
“During the past four years, per capita Medicare spending growth has averaged 0.8 percent annually, much more slowly than the average 3.1 percent annual increase in per capita GDP and national health expenditures over the same period.”
As you know, the premium we pay for Medicare Part B (traditional Medicare) for the next calendar year is not usually announced until October. However,
”...the preliminary estimate in the Report indicates that it will remain unchanged from the 2013 premium for the second consecutive year.”
That would be $104.90.
According to a NBC News early report on Monday, the average premium for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage is expected to increase by less than $2 a month.
Also according to that NBC News report:
”Social Security's massive retirement program will remain solvent until 2034, officials say, although disability benefits are in more immediate danger.
“The disability trust fund now is projected to run dry in 2016, unless Congress acts. At that point, the program will collect enough payroll taxes to pay only 81 percent of benefits.
“The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare project a 1.5 percent increase in monthly Social Security payments to beneficiaries for next year. That would be among the lowest since automatic adjustments were adopted in the 1970s.”
If you are up for nearly 300 pages, you can read the full report here [pdf].
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Bettijane Eisenpreis: Progress is Our Least Important Product