Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 - three years sooner than expected

Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images North America

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images North America

If that doesn't sound dire enough, in their annual report, the Social Security trustees said that Medicare's hospital insurance fund will be depleted in 2026, reserves for the fund that pays disability benefits would be emptied in 2032, and all Social Security reserves would be exhausted by 2034.

Social Security this year will spend more than it takes in, the program's trustees said in a new report Tuesday that signals the official beginning of the program's slide into insolvency.

Because Social Security is a main source of income for older Americans, that scenario could crimp household budgets for seniors and even push some into poverty. The total annual cost of the OASDI program is projected to exceed total annual income in 2018 for the first time since 1982 and to remain higher throughout the 75-year projection period.

Of the two programs, Medicare faces the greatest fiscal challenges as medical costs increase and the United States ages, with many baby boomers set to retire in the next several years.

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Meanwhile, Medicare's hospital insurance trust fund is expected to run dry in 2026, three years earlier than what the trustees had predicted in last year's report.

Additionally, President Trump's decision to end a program offering young undocumented immigrants reprieve from deportation while allowing them to work reduced anticipated tax revenue into the Social Security program. Good advisors have been factoring uncertainty around Social Security into their clients' plans for many years now. "The Administration's economic agenda - tax cuts, regulatory reform, and improved trade agreements - will generate the long-term growth needed to help secure these programs and lead them to a more stable path". It's not just the growing number of beneficiaries as the baby boom generation continues moving into retirement.

But speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Treasury officials said the cuts were set to decrease revenues for both programs. That's the amount the Social Security's trustees said tax income alone could cover.

"The continued delay in enacting legislative repairs renders effective solutions more elusive and poses particular risks to economically vulnerable populations", Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer, both former public trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, wrote in a joint report published by the Bipartisan Policy Center in advance of the trustees report. Advocates for the elderly said today there should be no cuts to Social Security benefits.

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