Each year Medicare releases new rules, regulations and costs. These changes can affect your coverage levels and what you may pay out-of-pocket.

Here are some of the 2024 Medicare changes to help you know what’s ahead.1

No Part D covered drug costs in catastrophic phase


In 2023 and previous years, Medicare Part D enrollees paid 5% (or a small copayment) of the cost of covered drugs after reaching the catastrophic phase. Starting in 2024, you pay nothing for covered Part D drugs after reaching the catastrophic phase.

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“Extra Help” program expands


Eligible members with “Extra Help” may qualify for even more Part D savings through the program.

Insulin costs are capped at $35/month


All insulin products covered by Part D can’t cost more than $35 for a 1-month supply. There is also no deductible.

If you take insulin through a traditional pump covered under Medicare’s durable medical equipment (DME) benefit, that insulin is covered under Medicare Part B. You also won’t pay more than $35 for a month’s supply or a deductible.

More Part D vaccines at no cost


Medicare Part D generally covers recommended immunizations like shingles, tetanus and pertussis vaccines. You can now get more vaccines under Part D at no cost to you. Contact your provider to see which new vaccines are free with your plan.

Part B covers flu shots, Hepatitis B shots, pneumococcal shots and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Expanded outpatient mental health services


Medicare Part B will now cover mental health care services provided by marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors. Covered care includes partial hospitalization services from a community mental health center or an outpatient hospital.

Medicare Part B will also start covering intensive outpatient program services at hospitals, community mental health centers, federally qualified health centers and Rural Health Clinics.

Increased Medicare coverage for chronic pain


If you have chronic pain (persistent or recurring pain lasting longer than 3 months), Part B will cover your monthly services. Chronic pain treatments may include pain assessment, medication management and care coordination and planning. The Part B deductible and 20% coinsurance apply.

A new Special Enrollment Period


Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) allow you to enroll in or disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan outside of the Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP) or Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP).

Starting in 2024, if you sign up for Part A or Part B during a SEP because of an exceptional condition, you’ll have 2 months to join a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D drug plan. Your coverage will start the first day of the month after the plan gets your request to join.

For a full list of what’s new for Medicare in 2024, check out the official U.S. government handbook “Medicare & You 2024, PDF.”

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Sources

  1. Medicare & You 2024,” Medicare.gov, last accessed Dec. 13, 2023.