Actuarially Sound

Academy Unveils Content Addressing Social Security, Medicare Trustees Reports

Academy Unveils Content Addressing Social Security, Medicare Trustees Reports

By Ted Gotsch
Senior Policy Analyst, Content and Publications

Earlier this month, the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees issued their annual reports on the financial status of the Social Security and Medicare programs. The reports showed that the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund will have sufficient funds to cover its obligations until 2036, and that the combined retirement and disability programs of Social Security have sufficient reserves to fully cover benefits until 2035.

The 2024 Social Security Trustees Report indicated that the solvency of the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance trust funds increased slightly from last year’s report largely due to a projected increase in labor productivity during the projection period and a lower assumed long-term disability incidence rate. Higher-than-expected economic growth also contributed to the change.

Meanwhile, the projected long-range financial condition of the Medicare’s HI trust fund, according to the 2024 Medicare Trustees Report, improved since last year due to several factors, including a policy change correcting the way medical education expenses are accounted for in Medicare Advantage rates starting in 2024; higher payroll tax income resulting from stronger-than-expected economic growth; and lower-than-projected 2023 program expenditures.

In response to the release of the reports, the Academy delved into the documents to get a broader understanding of the financial state of both programs. The Health Practice Council’s Medicare Committee published an issue brief, Medicare’s Financial Condition: Beyond Actuarial Balance, that examines the report with respect to program solvency and sustainability. Similarly, the Retirement Practice Council’s Social Security Committee published “Highlights from the 2024 Social Security Trustees Report,” a one-page illustration detailing the latest annual report on the current and projected financial status of the trust funds.

Webinars featuring the top program actuaries discussing Social Security and Medicare are also available to be viewed by Academy members and the public.

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