Medicare: Actuaries Look to the Program's Future with Medicare@50

Jul 29, 2015, 11:31 ET from American Academy of Actuaries

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 50th anniversary of Medicare, enacted on July 30, 1965, with President Lyndon Johnson's signing of the Social Security Amendments of 1965, is a significant milestone for one of the most important social insurance programs in our nation's history. The American Academy of Actuaries, also celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary, is the U.S. actuarial professional association for public policy and professionalism and has provided objective actuarial assessments of the Medicare program, as well as proposals to reform it. As we commemorate the lasting legacy of Medicare, it is also appropriate to consider the challenges facing the program to continue serving the needs of aging Americans. The Academy today published the first three of its Medicare@50 series of papers summarizing the program's role and benefits, and the financial challenges of providing health coverage to a large and growing population of eligible Americans.

"Medicare has played a critical role in meeting the health care needs of nearly all Americans age 65 and older and millions of younger Americans with disabilities," said Academy Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello. "With 10,000 Americans now enrolling in Medicare every day, it's more important than ever to take stock of the program. The Academy's Medicare@50 series identifies some of the most fundamental issues that policymakers and anyone concerned with the program's future should be aware of, such as 'How serious are Medicare's financial challenges?' and 'What benefits does Medicare provide, and to whom?' "

Part of the Academy's broader "Aging Securely" initiative, Medicare@50's first three papers are:

Additional papers will be released in the future.

Learn more about the Academy's analysis of Medicare by visiting the public policy section of our website at, and about sustainability in our white paper, Sustainability in American Financial Security Programs.   

The American Academy of Actuaries is an 18,500+ member professional association whose mission is to serve the public and the U.S. actuarial profession. The Academy assists public policymakers on all levels by providing leadership, objective expertise, and actuarial advice on risk and financial security issues. The Academy also sets qualification, practice, and professionalism standards for actuaries in the United States.

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SOURCE American Academy of Actuaries