The Medicare hospital insurance fund (Part A) runs out of money in 2026, according to the latest report from the Medicare Trustees. The August 2021 report by CMS discusses the state of each of the Medicare Trust funds – a $926 billion program for 62.6 million people in 2020. Medicare expenditures alone are estimated at 4.0% of gross domestic product (2020), up 0.3 points since last year. Part B (outpatient) and Part D (drug) have “adequate financing” – i.e., they are in decent shape. However, the hospital trust fund is projected to be depleted by 2026 (the same as projected in the last three years). As there has been no “fix” put forth by Congress, the problem of declining Medicare funds continues. The financial situation was worsened by lower payroll taxes due to unemployment and by new costs to cover Covid testing, treatment, and vaccines, as well as new services like telemedicine. On the other hand, 2020’s pandemic lowered the spending for non-COVID care as healthcare resources were diverted to fight the pandemic. The Medicare Board of Trustees adjusted the estimates for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and expects it will not have a big long-term impact after 2024. Which says, of course, they think the effects are significant for 2021, 2022, and 2023. In 2020, the average total Medicare benefit per enrollee was $15,763, up 13.6% from what was reported the prior year.