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Medicare Expenditures Have Nearly Tripled Since 2000, Projected to Double By 2024

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Total Medicare expenditures have nearly tripled since 2000 and are projected to more than double by 2024, according to the 2015 Annual Medicare Trustees Report.

In 2014, according to the report, Medicare expenditures totaled about $613 billion. The Trustees have been tracking this data since 1970, when total Medicare expenditures were $7.5 billion. In 2000, expenditures hit about $221.8 billion. Every year since 1970, Medicare expenditures have continued to climb and are expected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2024.

The report states that Medicare expenditures have increased rapidly during most of the program’s history and are expected to increase at an average annual rate of 7.2 percent from 2015 to 2024. "The Board projects that expenditures will increase in future years at a somewhat faster pace than either aggregate workers’ earnings or the economy overall," states the report.

Along with expenditures, Medicare enrollment has expanded from about 20 million enrollees in the 70s to about 53 million enrollees in 2014.

Medicare includes both Hospital Insurance (HI), otherwise known as Medicare Part A, as well as Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI), which includes Medicare Part B and D.

The report found that Medicare Part B beneficiaries may see their premiums increase next year. "In 2015 the monthly Part B premium rate is $104.90," states the report. "Under the intermediate economic assumptions, the estimated monthly premium in 2016 for these other beneficiaries is $159.30."

According to a report from Kaiser Health News, Medicare advocacy groups are concerned about the premium hike.

The premium increases signal that the program is becoming too expensive and will force more seniors to join Medicare Advantage which has more restrictions on coverage, said Judith Stein, the executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Kaiser Health News reported.