Why The Number of Medicare Recipients Will Double

As of 12:01am EST on January 1, 2011, the very first Baby Boomer reached age 65… and that means that the era of Baby Boomers receiving Medicare has officially commenced.

It is estimated that, during the period when Boomers are reaching age 65, between now and roughly 2030, the number of folks on the Medicare rolls will double.  Presently there are approximately 40 million Medicare recipients, and that number is expected to be around 80 million in 20 years.

These incredible numbers will cause major challenges in funding the system – along with serious challenges in controlling the overall costs of healthcare during this period.  The rate of increase in the over-65 population will cause dramatic changes in the healthcare system in terms of capacity, costs, and controls.

The new healthcare law passed earlier this year created an Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is supposed to provide guidance on how to control Medicare spending.  This will have to be accompanied by system-wide strategies to bring down the costs of medical care.

The only alternative to reducing costs is to increase taxes, and we all know how bitter of a pill that is.

About the author

Jim Blankenship, CFP®, EA

Jim Blankenship is the founder and principal of Blankenship Financial Planning, Ltd., a financial planning firm providing hourly, as-needed financial planning and advice. A financial services professional for over 25 years, Jim is a CFP professional and has earned the Enrolled Agent designation, a designation that qualifies him as enrolled to practice before the IRS. Jim is also a NAPFA-registered financial advisor, which designates him as a Fee-Only Financial Advisor.

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  • Steve and Eileen –

    I don’t have answers to these questions, I assumed that Eileen was asking rhetorical questions or was hoping for someone from Congress to drop by and take responsibility for these issues.

    Keep in mind I’m not defending the system, only attempting to explain it. I am a future (potential) recipient of Social Security benefits as well and I don’t like how the future looks, either.


  • Jim,

    Sure would love to see a response to Eileen’s questions and would add the following to hers:

    If the “boomers” started coming of age earlier this year, surely they were paying in for years under this system so why isn’t it (the fund) self-sustaining? Is the answer really as simple as rapidly rising healthcare costs?


    Steve T.

  • I am constantly hearing that Medicare is going broke and the Government needs to raise taxes.

    Why doesn’t anybody say anything about the money taken from my pay check while I was still working? And why is there NEVER a word said about the $96.42 taken from my Soc. Sec. check before I even get it?

    Why doesn’t anyone talk about the nearly 4 Billion dollars the government keeps from our Soc. Sec. check each month? Where does that money go?

    Eileen Junker

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