October 12, 2023, was a significant day for millions of Americans as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed the premium, deductible, and coinsurance adjustments for the Medicare Part A and Part B programs, along with the 2024 Medicare Part D income-related monthly adjustment amounts. These changes have far-reaching implications for beneficiaries and offer a glimpse into the evolving landscape of healthcare accessibility and affordability. Let’s break down the key takeaways.
Improving Access and Lowering Costs: Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) play a crucial role in providing coverage for Medicare premiums and reducing out-of-pocket expenses for over 10 million individuals. In a move to enhance healthcare access and affordability, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CMS have worked together to streamline enrollment in MSPs. This streamlined process will make it more affordable for an estimated 860,000 people to access vital healthcare services.
Additionally, the Part D low-income subsidy (LIS) and the Inflation Reduction Act have expanded the eligibility criteria for financial assistance, further improving access to prescription drugs and reducing the burden on beneficiaries.
Medicare Part B Premium and Deductible: Medicare Part B covers an array of essential medical services, including physician visits, hospital outpatient services, home health care, and medical equipment. The annual adjustment to Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles is dictated by the Social Security Act.
For 2024, the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $174.70, marking a $9.80 increase from the previous year. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $240, representing a $14 increase from 2023. This adjustment is primarily attributed to projected increases in healthcare spending and the remedy for the 340B-acquired drug payment policy under the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System.
Notably, individuals who’ve undergone a kidney transplant and whose full Medicare coverage ended 36 months post-transplant can opt to continue Part B coverage for immunosuppressive drugs by paying a premium, which for 2024 stands at $103.00.
Medicare Part B Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts: Since 2007, the Part B monthly premium has been tied to a beneficiary’s income. These income-related monthly adjustment amounts affect around 8 percent of Medicare Part B beneficiaries.
Medicare Part A Premium and Deductible: Medicare Part A covers a range of inpatient services, including hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and inpatient rehabilitation. Most beneficiaries do not pay a Part A premium if they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.
In 2024, the Part A inpatient hospital deductible will be $1,632, an increase of $32 from the previous year. This deductible covers beneficiaries’ costs for the first 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care in a benefit period. For extended stays, beneficiaries must pay $408 per day for the 61st through 90th day of hospitalization and $816 per day for lifetime reserve days. In skilled nursing facilities, the daily coinsurance for days 21 through 100 of extended care services will be $204.00 in 2024.
The 2024 changes in Medicare premiums, deductibles, and other adjustments carry both immediate and long-term implications for beneficiaries. While some may see increases in costs, it’s important to consider the broader context of these changes, including efforts to expand financial assistance programs and improve healthcare access.
Staying informed and understanding how these adjustments may affect your healthcare coverage is crucial for all Medicare beneficiaries. The evolving healthcare landscape reflects a commitment to balancing access and affordability for all Americans, making it a dynamic and evolving program. To learn even more about these changes, you can access the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website here.
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Fact sheet 2024 Medicare Parts A & B premiums and deductibles. CMS. (n.d.). https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2024-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles
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