Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer

by Stephen Ohlemacher

(AP)—The government says Medicare's finances have improved. The program's hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030—four years later than last year's estimate.

Social Security's massive retirement program will remain solvent until 2034, although disability benefits are in more immediate danger.

The disability trust fund is now projected to run dry in 2016. At that point, the program will collect enough taxes to pay 81 percent of benefits.

The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare issued their annual report Monday on the financial health of the government's largest benefit programs.

In 2030, when the hospital trust fund is projected to be depleted, Medicare will collect enough payroll taxes to pay 85 percent of benefits.

Medicare's improved finances are largely due to a slowdown in health care spending.

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