In 2010, 47.5 million people were covered by Medicare: 39.6 million aged 65 and older, and 7.9 million disabled. About 25 percent of beneficiaries have chosen to enroll in Part C private health plans that contract with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B health services. Total benefits paid in 2010 were $516 billion. Income was $486 billion, expenditures were $523 billion, and assets held in special issue U.S. Treasury securities were $344 billion.
Total Medicare expenditures have risen by 9.0 percent per year since 2000. Enrollment growth during that time was only 1.8 percent per year; thus, a per capita growth rate of 7.0 percent is driving overall Medicare growth. For more statistics, see here.
The financial status of the HI [Hospital Insurance] trust fund was substantially improved by the lower expenditures and additional tax revenues instituted by the Affordable Care Act. However, the HI trust fund is now estimated to be exhausted in 2024, 5 years earlier than was shown in last year’s report, and the fund is not adequately financed over the next 10 years.
Office of the Actuary (OACT) Forecasts
Medicare expenditures represented 3.6 percent of GDP in 2010. Under current law, costs would increase to about 5.6 percent of GDP by 2035 under the intermediate assumptions and to 6.2 percent of GDP by the end of the 75-year period. However, it is important to note that Medicare expenditures are almost certainly understated because of unrealistic substantial reductions in physician payments scheduled under current law and may be further understated (and to a greater degree).