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Medicare financial status, budget impact, and sustainability--which concept is which?

Foster RS, Clemens MK - Health Care Financ Rev (2005-2006 Winter)

Bottom Line: These debates would be improved if policymakers and the public had a clearer understanding of Medicare and certain commonly cited views of the program's overall status.Each concept is important but needs to be used for its own purpose.This article clarifies the differences among these three views of Medicare and provides examples of each.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, USA. richard.foster@cms.hhs.gov

ABSTRACT
Medicare is continually undergoing change, as it must in order to reflect advances in medical technology, new health care delivery systems, financial pressures, and other developments. Modifications to the program are debated by policymakers in Congress and the administration, together with academic experts and others. These debates would be improved if policymakers and the public had a clearer understanding of Medicare and certain commonly cited views of the program's overall status. Three such concepts--the financial status of the Medicare trust funds, the impact of Medicare on the Federal budget, and the long-run sustainability of Medicare--are often confused with each other and are sometimes used interchangeably. Each concept is important but needs to be used for its own purpose. This article clarifies the differences among these three views of Medicare and provides examples of each.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Medicare Hospital Insurance Income Less Expenditures Based on Both the Trust Fund Perspective and the Budget Perspective: Calendar Years 1966 to 2004
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection


getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4194920&req=5

f1-hcfr-27-2-127: Medicare Hospital Insurance Income Less Expenditures Based on Both the Trust Fund Perspective and the Budget Perspective: Calendar Years 1966 to 2004

Mentions: Figures 1, 2, and 3 show the historical differences between income and expenditures under both the trust fund and budget perspectives, for HI, SMI, and total Medicare, respectively. Under the trust fund perspective for the entire history of Medicare, income from all sources has been sufficient to meet expenditures in most years for both HI and SMI.7 The trust funds could not operate satisfactorily with sustained fund deficits, since benefits could not be paid in full or on time. In practice, the year-by-year financial status of the trust funds has been satisfactory, with expenditures fully met by trust fund revenues, interest, and/or asset redemptions when necessary.


Medicare financial status, budget impact, and sustainability--which concept is which?

Foster RS, Clemens MK - Health Care Financ Rev (2005-2006 Winter)

Medicare Hospital Insurance Income Less Expenditures Based on Both the Trust Fund Perspective and the Budget Perspective: Calendar Years 1966 to 2004
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4194920&req=5

f1-hcfr-27-2-127: Medicare Hospital Insurance Income Less Expenditures Based on Both the Trust Fund Perspective and the Budget Perspective: Calendar Years 1966 to 2004
Mentions: Figures 1, 2, and 3 show the historical differences between income and expenditures under both the trust fund and budget perspectives, for HI, SMI, and total Medicare, respectively. Under the trust fund perspective for the entire history of Medicare, income from all sources has been sufficient to meet expenditures in most years for both HI and SMI.7 The trust funds could not operate satisfactorily with sustained fund deficits, since benefits could not be paid in full or on time. In practice, the year-by-year financial status of the trust funds has been satisfactory, with expenditures fully met by trust fund revenues, interest, and/or asset redemptions when necessary.

Bottom Line: These debates would be improved if policymakers and the public had a clearer understanding of Medicare and certain commonly cited views of the program's overall status.Each concept is important but needs to be used for its own purpose.This article clarifies the differences among these three views of Medicare and provides examples of each.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, USA. richard.foster@cms.hhs.gov

ABSTRACT
Medicare is continually undergoing change, as it must in order to reflect advances in medical technology, new health care delivery systems, financial pressures, and other developments. Modifications to the program are debated by policymakers in Congress and the administration, together with academic experts and others. These debates would be improved if policymakers and the public had a clearer understanding of Medicare and certain commonly cited views of the program's overall status. Three such concepts--the financial status of the Medicare trust funds, the impact of Medicare on the Federal budget, and the long-run sustainability of Medicare--are often confused with each other and are sometimes used interchangeably. Each concept is important but needs to be used for its own purpose. This article clarifies the differences among these three views of Medicare and provides examples of each.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus