The Social Security and Medicare board of trustees Thursday released an annual report indicating that Medicare’s hospital trust fund will be depleted by 2029, a year later than predicted in their 2016 report. The trustees also project that costs of Medicare will grow from 3.6% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.6% by 2041.
The additional year of solvency is attributed to a slowdown in national health spending in recent years, potentially due to either temporary effects of the economic downturn, increased efficiency within the health care system, or other systemic changes.
Because of the slowdown in growth, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) outlined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will stay inactive until 2021, when spending rates are expected to meet Medicare’s target level. The IPAB remains at risk of being eliminated, as members from both parties have expressed opposition to the Board.