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The Biggest Changes Coming to Medicare in 2024

4 minute read

By Christopher Brown

Few things have changed as much over the last few years as the national healthcare system. Demographics, patient needs, technology, and economic conditions have changed dramatically in a very short time. Medicare coverage continues to change too. On January 1st, 2024, beneficiaries will welcome a number of important policy changes to their health coverage. It’s time to explore those changes in detail, and prepare for another year of good health and happiness. Navigating constant changes can feel like a grind, but fortunately you can learn everything you need to know about the biggest changes coming to Medicare in 2024 with a quick search online right now.

Medicare Open Enrollment

Every year, Medicare beneficiaries are able to re-evaluate their plans, and make changes to their coverage. It’s a lot harder to make the most out of Medicare’s biggest changes if you miss the annual open enrollment period.

This open enrollment period for the 2024 coverage year is October 15, 2023 to December 7, 2023. So mark the open enrollment period on your calendar and be ready to review your coverage before the opportunity goes away for another year.

Prescription Drug Savings

The biggest change to this year’s coverage impacts those that opt in for Part D prescription drug coverage. Beginning January 1, 2024, those with Medicare drug coverage (Part D) whose expenses escalate to the catastrophic coverage phase will no longer have to worry about a copayment or coinsurance.

This year also introduces the Extra Help, which benefits individuals with limited resources and income by covering an extended range of drug costs. Finally, if a prescription drug’s price inflates beyond inflation rates, coinsurance amounts for Part B-covered drugs might shrink, leading to more savings.

Even More Affordable Insulin

Medicare continues its commitment to bring down the cost of insulin again this year. Starting in 2024, your Medicare drug plan will cap the charge at $35 for a month’s supply of each insulin product covered by Part D, eliminating the need for a deductible.

Good news for those administering insulin via a traditional pump. If the aforementioned pump is covered under Medicare’s durable equipment benefit, then the insulin will also be covered under Medicare Part B. This means you won’t spend above $35 for a monthly dosage, and the usual deductible doesn’t apply.

Telehealth Coverage Adjustments

America’s reliance on telehealth coverage saw a dramatic spike over the past few years. That increase in accessibility helped a lot of people stay connected to the healthcare system too.
Fortunately, the accessibility of telehealth services remains unhindered across the U.S. through 2024. However, beginning in 2025, these services will require users to be in an office or medical establishment located in rural areas, with a few exceptions, notably for mental health services.

Chronic Pain Management

For the first time ever, Medicare covers a collection of monthly services for those living with chronic pain. Defined as recurring or persistent pain lasting longer than 3-months, chronic pain is a real burden for millions of people across the country. Now, those with Medicare coverage can seek affordable help.

Qualifying services include pain assessments, medication management, care coordination and planning. Both coinsurance and Part B deductibles apply, but it’s a considerable start for those with chronic pain.

Elevated Mental Health Provisions

There’s been a chorus of voices stressing the need for better mental health support and, as it turns out, Medicare is listening. Medicare already covers mental health care services to help with things like depression and anxiety, including psychotherapy and counseling.

But, beginning in 2024, Medicare is adding intensive outpatient program services to their coverage list. Qualifying programs encompass a range of services provided by hospitals, community mental health centers, and Rural Health Clinics. Medicare is also adding mental health care services provided by marriage & family therapists.

Flexible Medicare Enrollment

For those who recently or will soon lose Medicaid, Medicare offers a silver lining, and a substantially longer runway. Opportunities have been expanded to enroll in Medicare or tweak existing coverage.

Qualifying beneficiaries may be able to sign up for Part A and Part B coverage without the need to cover a late enrollment penalty. Additionally, special situations might grant you Medicare access.

Persistent COVID-19 Care

Medicare remains committed to COVID-19 support. Expect continued coverage for the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as a number of tests and treatments designed to minimize symptoms, protect against severe disease, and slow the spread of COVID-19 within communities.

Learn More Today!

Medicare’s 2024 changes reflect its dedication to providing accessible, quality healthcare. From drug cost reductions to chronic pain management and mental health care enhancements, there’s even more support for the millions of Americans who count on Medicare coverage.

Staying healthy is about taking care of your body to the best of your ability, but it’s also about staying engaged in your healthcare coverage and familiarizing yourself with the tools at your disposal. So, make a habit out of learning more, continue your online exploration and learn how to maximize your benefits.

Shutterstock: Jim Vallee

Christopher Brown


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