Skip to Main Content

Technical Panel Reports

The annual reports of the Medicare Boards of Trustees to Congress represent the Federal government's official evaluation of the financial status of the Medicare Program. The actuarial projections contained in these reports are based on numerous assumptions regarding future trends in program enrollment, utilization and costs of health care services covered by Medicare, and other factors affecting program expenditures. In addition, the methods used to estimate future costs, based on these assumptions, are complex. These assumptions and methods are subject to periodic review by independent experts to ensure their validity and reasonableness.

2010-2011 Panel: The 2010-2011 panel was convened by the Secretary of HHS to review the following six topics:

  • Appropriate bases for setting long-range Medicare per beneficiary expenditure growth assumptions and associated issues such as the determination of sustainable shares of health spending.
  • The sustainability of key Medicare cost growth factors under current law.
  • Current assumptions regarding the long-term rate of growth in medical expenditures and/or changes in utilization of care.
  • Current and alternative projection methodologies.
  • Long-range growth assumptions for HI and SMI.
  • Recommendations for areas of future research to improve the long-term projection methods, such as incorporating trends in health status.

The 9-member panel held 12 public meetings starting in November 2010 and ending in December 2011. The panel issued their final report in December 2012.

2004 Panel: The Technical Review Panel on the Medicare Trustees Report was established by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in 2004 to review the assumptions and methods underlying the Medicare Trust Funds (Hospital Insurance and Supplementary Medical Insurance) annual reports to Congress. The panel, which has 7 members, reviewed the Medicare assumptions, projection methodology, long-range growth assumptions, and stochastic forecasting techniques used to develop the annual reports. The panel issued their final report December, 2004.

2000 Panel: The 2000 Medicare Technical Review Panel was convened by the Secretary of HHS at the request of the Medicare Boards of Trustees. Panel members were nominated by the Boards' public representatives. The resulting expert panel was comprised of 3 health actuaries and 3 health economists, and assisted by a health actuarial consultant. The panel held 5 public meetings during June through November, 2000. The panel issued their final report, with 10 findings and 28 recommendations in December, 2000.

The Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), formerly the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the Director of Medicare and Medicaid Cost Estimates, and their staffs wish to thank the panel members for their outstanding service on behalf of the public, Congress, the Boards of Trustees, and the Office of the Actuary. The panel members' generous contribution of time and expertise will help ensure that the financial projections in the annual Trustees Reports continue to provide the best possible assessment of the Medicare program's financial status.