Oct 17, 2023 Medicare Open Enrollment for 2024 Begins October 15th
Medicare beneficiaries can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Each year, Medicare plan costs and coverage typically change. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The Open Enrollment Period — which begins on October 15th and runs through December 7th — is your opportunity to switch your current Medicare health and prescription drug plans to ones that better suit your needs.
During this period, you can:
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare
- Change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to a different Medicare Advantage Plan
- Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that does offer prescription drug coverage
- Join a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D)
- Switch from one Part D plan to another Part D plan
- Drop your Part D coverage altogether
Any changes made during Open Enrollment are effective as of January 1, 2024.
Review plan options
Now is a good time to review your current Medicare benefits to see if they’re still right for you. Are you satisfied with the coverage and level of care you’re receiving with your current plan? Are your premium costs or out-of-pocket expenses too high? Has your health changed? Do you anticipate needing medical care or treatment, or new or pricier prescription drugs?
If your current plan doesn’t meet your health-care needs or fit your budget, you can switch to a new plan. If you find that you’re satisfied with your current Medicare plan and it’s still being offered, you don’t have to do anything. The coverage you have will continue.
Information on costs and benefits
The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $174.70 for 2024, an increase of $9.80 from $164.90 in 2023. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $240 in 2024, an increase of $14 from the annual deductible of $226 in 2023.
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated that the average Part D prescription drug premium for 2024 would be about 1.8% lower than in 2023. That doesn’t mean the premium for every Part D policy will decline. Each policy is different; premiums are set by the insurers that issue the policies. Some premiums will rise, though the average is declining. Beneficiaries should review the statement of plan changes for 2024 that should have been received in the mail in September. If you didn’t receive it, call the insurer or check its website.
You can find more information on Medicare benefits in the Medicare & You 2024 Handbook on medicare.gov. You can also use the Plan Finder and other tools that can make comparing plans easier at medicare.gov.
You can also call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for free, personalized counseling. Visit shiptacenter.org or call the toll-free Medicare number to find the phone number for your state.
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