Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Trustees report warns Medicare finances worsening

Report warns Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 The Social Security Administration's main campus is seen in Woodlawn Md
Preston Stone | 07 June, 2018, 22:43

Medicare Part B, and D will remain adequately funded "into the indefinite future", the trustees reported, because law provides financing from general revenues and beneficiary premiums each year to meet the next year's expected costs.

To cover this year's benefits, Social Security will draw from a $3-trillion trust fund, but that cache is expected to run dry by 2034, according to a report by the trustees of Social Security and Medicare that was released Tuesday.

The trustees estimated that, if no action is taken, the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund would be unable to pay full benefits in 2028. Lackluster economic growth in previous years, coupled with an aging population, has contributed to the projected shortages for both Social Security and Medicare.

This would leave the fund depleted by 2034, matching last year's forecast.

At this rate, the combined asset reserves of Social Security's twin retirement and disability trust funds would become depleted by 2034, the same as projected a year ago, with 79% of the benefits payable at that time, according to the report.

In Austria, Putin calls for lifting sanctions, Kurz sticks by European Union position
The Russian president also met Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who spoke of the need for dialogue with Russia. Prior to his visit, Putin had stressed the importance of improving ties with Austria and the EU.

The annual report by trustees of the giant fund also covers Social Security, which millions of older Americans depend on for income, just as it does for many disabled.

Nancy Berryhill, the acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration, acknowledged that while the projected depletion date of the combined Social Security Trust Funds has not changed, "The fact remains that Congress can keep Social Security strong by taking action to ensure the future of the program". "The Administration's economic agenda - tax cuts, regulatory reform, and improved trade agreements - will generate the long-term growth needed to help secure these programs and lead them to a more stable path". Some 45 million retirees and six million dependents receive Social Security benefits.

Cubanski also said that Americans with higher incomes and more lucrative Social Security benefits will benefit from federal tax cuts that will lower paycheck deductions. The program's cost will rise more rapidly through 2039 as the baby-boom generation retires faster than the number of covered workers increases, according to the report.

Social Security recipients are likely to see a cost-of-living increase of about 2.4 percent next year, said government number-crunchers who produced the report.

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