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Medicare Expert Series: Could Medicare Go Away In the Future?

Published Jun 22, 2020

The Medicare program has two separate trust funds: the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund (HI) and the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund (SMI). The Social Security Act established the Medicare Board of Trustees to oversee the financial operations of the HI and SMI trust funds.1

Each year, the Medicare Board of Trustees provides a report describing the financial health of the Medicare program. And according to Medicare expert John Barkett, one of those recent reports estimated that 2026 would be the last year the trust fund would be able to pay for full benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. 

But That’s Not the Whole Story

In the following video, Barkett assures us that the Medicare program is not destined to run out of money, and that there are both legislative changes and trends in health care that change over time to help ensure Medicare remains intact for the future. 

A Recent Legislative Change

You may have heard about Medigap Plan F and Plan C being discontinued for new Medicare beneficiaries at the start of 2020. This was a decision made by Congress to make Medicare beneficiaries pay a bit more out of pocket by discontinuing plans that have what is known as “first dollar” coverage. With first dollar coverage, these Medigap plans begin paying their share of covered services on day one

What Congress found was that people with first dollar coverage (Plan F or Plan C) visit the doctor more often than people who are required to meet a deductible, according to Barkett.

So what should you do if you are a new Medicare beneficiary who wants Plan F or Plan C? As Barkett explains in the following video, there may be similar plans available to you with lower monthly premiums. Get the full story by watching the video below.

  1. CMS.gov “2020 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds” April 22, 2020

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