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January 3, 2024
What Changes Are Coming to Medicare in 2024?

What Changes Are Coming to Medicare in 2024?

There are several Medicare changes taking place in 2024.

From increased Medicare Part B costs to lower costs for vaccines and insulin, here's what you need to know about Medicare changes in 2024.

Need Medicare or retirement planning help? The Medicare Allies team specializes in Medicare health insurance as well as retirement planning. Call us today at 833-801-7999 for personalized help.

1. Medicare Part B Premium and Deductible Decrease

The Medicare Part B premium is increasing in 2024.

In 2023 the Part B premium was $164.90. In 2024, the Part B standard premium is $174.70, a pretty significant jump.

The Part B deductible is also increasing by $14 to $240 in 2024.

If you have a high income, you pay a higher premium for Medicare coverage. We have discussed what those changes will look like in more detail in a previous blog.

2. Medicare Part A Costs Updates

Medicare Part A costs will be seeing a slight increase in 2024. The deductible for Medicare Part A, which is hospital coverage, will be $1,632. That’s a $32 increase from 2023.  

Medicare Advantage plans have their own deductibles, so you don't pay the Medicare Part A deductible if you have one. Medicare Supplements also typically do not need to worry about Part A deductibles, as many plans cover that cost.

Most Medicare beneficiaries do not have a Part A premium since they meet the work criteria. You or your spouse must have 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment, which covers most employment in the United States.

For those who do have to pay the premium, it will be $278 per month or $505 per month in 2024. You can read more about which category you'd fall under here.

3. Lower Insulin Costs

One of the biggest changes that came to Medicare in 2023 was the Inflation Reduction Act. This legislation seeks to curb the skyrocketing costs for medications and especially insulin.  

Starting in 2023, there was a $35/per month copayment cap on insulin prescriptions for those with Medicare Part D drug coverage. This cost savings will stay in place until 2025, meaning you get to enjoy the lower insulin costs in 2024 as well.

4. Free Vaccinations

Another key benefit of the Inflation Reduction Act is that all CDC-recommended vaccines will be free to Medicare users. That means flu and COVID-19 shots, travel inoculations and more.

We are especially excited to see the shingles vaccine on this list.

Starting in 2024, all recommended adult vaccines that are covered by Medicare will be available with no cost-sharing.

5. Extra Help for More People

The Extra Help program assists individuals with limited income in covering Medicare Part D premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Starting in 2024, there will be no partial Extra Help; everyone eligible will receive full Extra Help automatically.

This entails:

  • $0 Part D premium
  • $0 Part D deductible
  • Reduced prescription costs: Up to $4.50 for generics, and up to $11.20 for brand-name drugs

In 2024, the income limit for Extra Help qualification is increasing. Eligibility now extends to those with income up to 150% of the federal poverty level, compared to the 135% limit in 2023.

6. Special Enrollment Period Update

In 2024, if you meet the criteria for a Special Enrollment Period and enroll in Part A or Part B, you'll have a 2-month window to also enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan.

Moreover, if you incur charges for Part A and opt for Part B during the General Enrollment Period, you'll also enjoy a 2-month opportunity to enroll in a drug plan.

7. Telehealth Coverage Changes

Until the close of 2024, nationwide access to telehealth services remains in place. However, post-2024, most telehealth offerings will be confined to offices or medical facilities located in rural areas.

Certain exceptions persist, allowing you to access telehealth services for:

  • Monthly home dialysis visits for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
  • Services related to an acute stroke, encompassing diagnosis, evaluation, or treatment of symptoms.
  • Services addressing mental health disorders, covering diagnosis, evaluation, or treatment.
  • Services for substance use disorders or co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • Behavioral health services.

During these changes, some Medicare Advantage plans offer telehealth benefits to all, regardless of their location. To ensure continued access, consult your Medicare agent for insights into individual plan details.

8. Chronic Pain Coverage

Starting in 2024, Medicare will extend coverage to monthly services dedicated to treating individuals enduring chronic pain, defined as recurring pain persisting for over 3 months.

Covered services encompass:

  • Pain assessment
  • Medication management
  • Care coordination/planning

9. More Mental Health Support

Medicare contributes to covering services for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Historically, coverage encompassed outpatient settings like a doctor's office or hospital, featuring professionals like psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants.

Effective 2024, healthcare services delivered by marriage and family therapists, as well as mental health counselors, will now fall under coverage.

Moreover, it will extend coverage to intensive outpatient program services offered by hospitals, community mental health centers, federally qualified health centers, and Rural Health Clinics.

10. More Drug Negotiations

In 2023, the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program started under the Inflation Reduction Act.

In 2024, CMS will propose a maximum fair price by February 1, with a 30-day window for companies to respond or counteroffer. Up to three more negotiation meetings may occur by August 1, 2024.

Conclusion

Those are the major Medicare changes to expect in 2024. If you have any questions about how these changes will affect you or your coverage, give us a call at 833-801-7999, and our licensed insurance agents will be happy to help you!

Luke Hockaday
By
Luke Hockaday
Luke Hockaday is a Customer Success Rep here at Senior Allies. Luke has been helping Medicare-eligible clients with their insurance and retirement-planning needs since 2011. Luke is passionate about 3 things, and 3 things only: senior insurance, football, and food!

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