The cost of Medicare is a major contributor to the federal government's trillion-dollar deficit. As funding for the program is stretched, quality and affordability of care for beneficiaries is threatened.
A number of factors contribute to Medicare’s escalating costs and pose barriers to controlling them, including:
- The number of Medicare beneficiaries: In 2013, there were 52 million Medicare beneficiaries; this number is projected to almost double to 80 million by 2030.
- Longer life spans: As average life expectancy increases, beneficiaries remain in the Medicare program longer and more resources are required to care for them.
- Prevalence of chronic conditions: There are a growing number of Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions, and the cost of caring for these individuals represents an exorbitant amount of total Medicare expenditures.
- Health care costs continue to rise: A number of factors, including the price paid for services, the volume and complexity of services, and new medical technology are contributing to the continued rise in health care costs.
Read more about Medicare’s unsustainable future