The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare costs for Part A and Part B coverage will be changing in 2024. Some Medicare costs are reviewed each year to account for any changes in the cost of healthcare. It’s a good idea to stay on top of any changes each year so you can know what to expect as you pay for coverage and care. Here is an overview of some of the 2024 Medicare cost changes.
Medicare Part A offers coverage for inpatient care at hospitals and other facilities. According to the CMS, about 99% of people don’t have to pay a premium for their Medicare Part A coverage. But for those who don’t qualify for a $0 premium, Medicare Part A premiums will be either $278 or $505 in 2024. CMS has more information on who may need to pay a Part A premium.
Medicare Part A deductibles will also go up in 2024 by $32 to a $1,632 deductible:
This deductible covers the first 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care during a benefit period. After 60 days, coinsurance applies and Medicare-covered individuals will need to pay an additional amount. Refer to the CMS for more details.
Medicare Part B covers doctor and specialist visits and services, as well as other types of outpatient care. According to the CMS, Part B premiums and deductibles are rising due to projected increases in healthcare spending and other related factors. Medicare Part B premiums, deductibles and coinsurance rates are evaluated each year per the Social Security Act.
Here are some of the changes to expect for Medicare Part B costs for 2024:
(Please note: Medicare Part B premiums are related to your income. CMS has more details on income thresholds for Part B premiums.)
Here is a comparison between 2023 and 2024 Medicare Part B costs:
While some Medicare costs may change each year, there are some programs that can help offset coverage costs so that you can continue to get the care that you need.
An easy way to help save on Medicare costs is to sign up for Medicare when you first become eligible. If you don’t, you may have to pay fees for Medicare coverage, which are called late enrollment penalties.
These penalties are not a one-time late fee and may be:
Here are the late enrollment penalties you might pay if you do not sign up for Medicare when you are first eligible:
(This only applies if you don’t qualify for a $0 premium for Part A. Most people qualify for a $0 premium.)
You may be able to avoid these penalties if you have healthcare coverage that is similar in value to Medicare (e.g., from an employer), which is sometimes called creditable coverage. However, by signing up for Medicare when you are first eligible through your initial enrollment period, you can avoid paying unnecessary extra costs.
There are some things you can do to try and lower costs related to your Medicare coverage. One program that can help offset Medicare costs is Extra Help, which is a federal program that helps cover Part D prescription drug costs by lowering Part D premiums, deductibles and copays. Both the Qualified Medicare Benefit program and the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary program include Extra Help.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has resources on a few different Medicare Savings Programs that can help qualified individuals in Idaho lower their Medicare costs:
Staying up to date on Medicare costs can help you know what to expect as you plan for your care and coverage. If there are cost or program changes, CMS will communicate any updates so - Medicare recipients are informed.
For more information about Medicare in general, you can follow our Blue Bulletin blog, where we share helpful tips and information to help you understand Medicare coverage.
Posted: January 18, 2024
Written by: Blue Cross of Idaho