The lifespan of the Medicare Hospital Fund has been extended to 2026, two years later than last year’s estimate, according to the 2013 annual trustees report released today.
Lower-than-expected spending for the hospital portion of Medicare (Part A) and tweakings to the Medicare Advantage program have contributed to the revised projections.
Per-captia spending for beneficiaries has “grown quite slowly over the past few years and is projected to continue growing slowly over the next several years,” notes a CMS release. “From 2010 to 2012, Medicare spending per beneficiary grew at 1.7 percent annually, more slowly than the average rate of growth in the Consumer Price Index, and substantially more slowly than the per capita rate of growth in the economy.”
Marilyn Tavenner, CMS Administrator, also credits healthcare reform for the extension on the fund’s reach. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are taking important steps to improve the delivery of care for seniors with Medicare. These reforms aim to reduce spending while improving the quality of care, and are an important down payment on solving Medicare’s long term financial issues.”