A Guide to the 2013 Medicare Trustees Report

Published June 13, 2013

Medicare like Social Security faces substantial financing challenges and warrants significant legislative reforms. Whereas in Social Security the financing strains are manifested in projections of trust fund depletion, in Medicare some financing strains are manifested primarily in rising projected pressure on the general federal budget. As with Social Security, Medicare is being strained by the growing numbers of baby boomers moving onto its benefit rolls. Overall, Medicare financial projections are subject to greater uncertainty than Social Security’s due to the difficulty of projecting health cost inflation. For a variety of reasons including expected legislative actions, actual Medicare costs are likely to be higher than currently projected.