WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — The go-broke timeline for Medicare and Social Security has been delayed, a according to an annual report released Monday.

Officials warn that policy changes are needed in case the programs become unable to pay full benefits to retiring U.S. residents.

Medicare’s go-broke date for its hospital insurance trust fund was pushed back five years, to 2036, thanks in part to higher payroll tax income and lower-than-projected expenses from 2023.

After the fund’s reserves become depleted, Medicare would be able to cover only 89% of costs for patients’ hospital visits, hospice care and nursing home services or home health care that follows hospital visits.

Social Security’s trust fund will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2035, instead of the previous estimate of 2034. Social Security would be able to pay only 83% of benefits.

Social Security Administration Commissioner Martin O’Malley said the report is “a measure of good news,” but told said Congress still needs to act to avoid what is now forecast to be a 17% cut to people’s Social Security benefits.

About 71 million people receive Social Security benefits.

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