Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

Medicare Fund Projected to Fall Short in 2026 — 3 Years Earlier Than Expected

Trustees’ report says Social Security solvency remains stable

spinner image money with doctor's stethoscope
The 2018 Medicare trustees' report reveals a shortage in dollars for hospital visits.
Getty Images

The fund that pays hospital bills for Medicare’s 60 million beneficiaries will fall short in 2026 — three years earlier than last year’s projection — while Social Security’s full solvency until 2034 remains unchanged, according to the trustees’ reports for the nation’s two largest federal programs released on Tuesday.

Last year the trustees said that the Medicare hospital fund would not have enough money by 2029. This year’s report attributes its bleaker projection to lower-than-expected income in the Medicare fund and higher-than-predicted spending. The fund gets most of its revenue from the Medicare taxes deducted from workers’ paychecks. In 2017, wages were lower than projected, the report says, and that meant the fund received less payroll tax income.  

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine. Find out how much you could save in a year with a membership. Learn more.

Join Now

“The financial projections in this report indicate a need for substantial steps to address Medicare’s remaining financial challenges,” the trustees wrote, and they urged Congress to take quick action. “Such legislation should be enacted sooner rather than later to minimize the impact on beneficiaries, providers, and taxpayers.” The trustees recommended that Congress and the executive branch "work closely together with a sense of urgency."

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?