Every year, the non-partisan Medicare Trustees Group in Washington D.C. issues a report regarding the Financial state of the Medicare Program.
Below are some links to prior years articles we wrote on this topic:
The report is normally released in the Springtime. This year, we anxiously awaited the report to see the impacts of the recent Pandemic.
A few days ago the 2021 Report was released. You can find the full report here.
Some of the key highlights of the report:
This is the same message from the Medicare Trustees from the last several years, and the Medicare Program is essentially a ticking time-bomb that requires significant financial changes ASAP to minimize the impact of this impending issue.
Legislation must be passed to add funding and/or reduce expenditures to sustain the Medicare Program for the long-term.
Unfortunately, our lawmakers continue to be focused on adding expenditures which will only accelerate the financial solvency issues.
Adding Dental, Vision & Hearing?
One of the big focuses in Washington is to add additional benefits to Medicare, specifically Dental, Vision & Hearing benefits. The early indication is that this benefit will likely be passed by end of 2021. We should hear more in the next few weeks about how this would be funded and how the coverage might work.
To be perfectly clear, I think it would be wonderful to have Dental, Vision, Hearing and (also Long-Term Care) included with Medicare.
However, there is a significant cost to add these services to Medicare. Adding additional expenditures to a program that is already faltering financially is like giving a mortgage to someone for a brand new house while they are not able to make payments on their current mortgage. There is a good reason banks wouldn't approve a new mortgage in this case because it wouldn't be good for the individual requesting the loan or the bank providing it.
Reducing Medicare eligibility age to 60?
The other top Medicare priority in Washington is to reduce the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60. Here again, is another proposal that would significantly increase expenditures on an already faltering program.
Will Medicare Really Go Under?
There are over 60 million Americans on Medicare. The large majority of Medicare Beneficiaries are voters. It is highly unlikely the program will ever go under. But changes do need to made to sustain the program for the long-term and I really hope Washington starts to shift their focus ASAP on the correct long-term priorities to sustain this important Program.
See bio here