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Medicare coverage in 2024: What to know

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Medicaid and Medical Assistance | 0 comments

Medicare covers roughly 65 million people, and most of them stand to benefit from changes that have been gradually coming into place since 2022.

Unfortunately, understanding your entitlement to various Medicare benefits and making sure that you don’t run afoul of the program’s intricate rules or make an expensive mistake can be difficult. 

What’s new with Medicare in 2024?

Thanks to the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the program benefits are better, the enrollment rules are a bit clearer, there are fewer coverage gaps and medications are more affordable. 

However, premiums continue to rise, hitting $174.70 per month for Part B, and deductibles continue to be prohibitive for many. As a result, Medicare Advantage programs, which are private alternatives to the government-provided original Medicare, are rising in popularity, with more than 50% of beneficiaries now choosing that route for their coverage.

What are the biggest issues enrollees need to consider?

There are a lot of important decisions that you have to make when you’re applying for Medicare, and it’s easy to make a mistake. Here are some of the biggest things you have to consider:

  • Whether you want original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, which may offer additional coverage for dental or vision that straight Medicare does not have but will likely lock you into a provider network
  • When to enroll in Medicare Part A and B, since your options are generally limited to the three months before and after your 65th birthday – unless you or your spouse are still working and have coverage through an employer (but not as a retiree)
  • When to enroll in Medicare Part D, which does not follow the same rules as Parts A and B, and may not be necessary if you have comparable coverage through an employer or retirement plan
  • Understanding what programs can help with your Medicare costs, including state health insurance programs for Medicare Savings, Medicaid payments for Medicare premiums and other income-based programs

Roughly 12% of Medicare beneficiaries are qualified due to disability, while the remaining 88% are 65 years of age or older. If you are approaching retirement age, it helps to have experienced legal guidance as you look forward to your enrollment. A careful, strategic approach to your situation should also include long-term care and Medicaid planning so that you can protect more of your assets and the legacy you hope to leave behind.