Solid payroll tax revenue growth helped the Medicare hospitalization trust fund do better in 2016 the fund’s trustees were predicting a year ago.
The trust fund is reporting a $5.4 billion operating gain for 2016 on $291 billion in revenue, compared with a $3.5 billion operating loss on $275 billion in 2015.
The operating gain is the first the trust fund has generated since 2007.
Program payroll tax revenue increased 5.1% between 2015 and 2016, to $253.5 billion, and benefit payments increased just 2.6%, to $280.5 billion.
The fund provides hospitalization coverage for 56.8 million people.
Program trustees reported Medicare hospitalization trust fund results for 2016 in their latest trustees report.
Managers of Medicare are supposed to put assets in a trust fund to prefund hospitalization benefits, and that trust fund faces long-range financing and solvency projection concerns.