The last quarter of the year is a big time for planning - whether it’s getting ready for the holidays, researching where you’ll go on that big family vacation next year, or budgeting for medical expenses.
While you’re in planning mode - especially during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period in which you may be reviewing your Medicare coverage for 2024 - it’s important to know that Medicare costs and plans can change on an annual basis.
In fact, not only can your insurance company make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan each year (as outlined in your Annual Notice of Change), but also, the Social Security Administration determines Medicare costs on an annual basis. Congress occasionally proposes and passes legislation that impacts Medicare benefits.
In this guide to 2024 Medicare costs, we’ll review recent changes in Medicare costs from 2023 and highlight the overall state of Medicare in 2024.
The Medicare costs that can change each year are the Part A deductible, the Part A daily coinsurance, and the Part B deductible.
In 2024, we will see several cost increases for Medicare Part A. Part A, often known as Hospital Insurance, covers inpatient hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, inpatient rehabilitation, and some home health care services.
Part A costs $0 for most people because they (or their spouse) paid Medicare taxes long enough while working - generally at least 10 years. If you get Medicare earlier than age 65, you won’t pay a Part A premium, which is sometimes called “premium-free Part A.”
However, if you have fewer than 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment or are a Medicare-eligible person with a qualifying disability, you will pay a Part A premium.The monthly Part A premium will decrease to $505 in 2024 - just $1 less than 2023.
The other 2024 changes to Medicare Part A costs include:
Keep in mind that it is possible to pay the Part A deductible more than once in a year. This would only happen when you have multiple hospital stays in one year, and your stays are separated by more than 60 days. In this situation, you’d pay the Part A deductible each time.
Paying the Part A deductible gets you 60 days in the hospital and 20 days in a skilled nursing facility. If your stay goes beyond those days, you’ll have to pay the updated daily coinsurance amounts indicated above.
Medicare Part B (your medical insurance) covers outpatient services like doctor’s visits, preventive screenings, durable medicare equipment, and certain vaccines. Each year, the Medicare Part B costs (premium, deductible and coinsurance) are determined by provisions within the Social Security Act.
We will see certain Part B cost changes in 2024, including:
These Part B cost increases are mainly due to projected rises in healthcare spending.
The Part B deductible is paid prior to when Medicare coverage begins each year, paying its portion of your outpatient care. Unlike the Part A deductible, you’ll only be required to pay the Part B deductible once per year.
After you’ve met the Part B deductible, Medicare will pay the first 80% of the cost for your care, and you are responsible for the remaining 20%. Besides standard Part B coinsurance, you might encounter Part B excess charges, which can be as much as 15% of the Medicare-approved cost for your care.
It’s worth noting a few updates and reminders that are relevant for the 2024 plan year.
Beginning in 2024, you will not have to pay a copayment or coinsurance if your prescription drugs costs are high enough to reach the catastrophic coverage phase in your Medicare Part D drug coverage.
Also beginning in 2024, the Medicare Extra Help program (Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program) will expand to cover more prescriptions for people with limited resources who earn less than 150% of the federal poverty level. That means people who qualify for Extra Help will generally pay no more than $4.50 for each generic drug and $11.20 for each brand-name drug.
Your Medicare plan can’t charge you more than $35 for a one-month supply of each insulin covered under Medicare Part D. You also don’t have to pay a deductible for it. If you take insulin through a traditional pump that is covered under Medicare’s durable medical equipment benefit, your insulin is covered under Medicare Part B.
If you have Medicare Part D, you’ll now pay nothing out-of-pocket for even more vaccines. View what’s covered under the prescription drug law to get a reminder of these covered vaccines.
Medicare covers certain telehealth services offered by a doctor or health care practitioner. You can still get telehealth services at any U.S. location including your home until December 31, 2024.
However, you can still get certain qualifying Medicare telehealth services, including
Starting January 1, 2024, Medicare will cover intensive outpatient program services provided by hospitals, community mental health centers, and other locations if you need mental health care.
In August 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the first 10 drugs selected for price negotiation that are covered under Medicare Part D. These negotiations with participating drug companies will occur in 2023 and 2024, and any negotiated prices will become effective beginning in 2026.
The selected drug list for the first round of negotiation is:
We will continue to monitor and share any further updates if more news unfolds about any additional changes to 2024 Medicare plans or costs. If you have questions about 2024 Medicare plan costs, changes, or how they might impact you, call 1-800-596-1715 (TTY 711) toll-free to speak to one of our licensed insurance agents.
You can also view our Medicare resources
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