Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports

May 1, 2019

Every year the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees issue reports on the fiscal health of these vital programs. The 2019 reports show that the programs are on an unsustainable path.

The reports found that:

  • The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund will be depleted in 2034. At that point, beneficiaries would be subject to a 23 percent reduction in payments.
  • The outlook for the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund has markedly improved. It is estimated to remain solvent until 2052 — 20 years later than projected last year. Upon depletion, beneficiaries would be subject to a cut in assistance of 9 percent. The lengthened period of solvency for the DI trust fund is the result of declining disability applications in recent years as well a revision in the rate of disability among the population.
  • The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will be depleted in 2026. At that point, Medicare would have to cut payments to providers by 11 percent, which could negatively affect 73 million beneficiaries.
  • Both Social Security and Medicare face significant financial challenges in future years resulting from an aging population. Medicare faces additional challenges from per capita health care spending that rises faster than the rate of growth of the economy.

“Continuing to ignore alarming financial projections for critical programs is unacceptable,” Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said in a statement on the Trustees report.

Read our full analyses of these reports:

See our primers on Social Security and Medicare for more information on how these essential programs work.

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