New Hampshire Medicare Changes 2024

 In Medicare, New Hampshire

The Medicare landscape is undergoing substantial changes, set to take effect in 2024, and residents of New Hampshire need to be prepared.

These transformations aim to ease the financial burden and bring peace of mind to those managing high-cost prescription drugs. This blog post is dedicated to keeping you informed about these timely updates, focusing specifically on the implications for our New Hampshire community.

We’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of these changes, helping you understand what this means for your out-of-pocket expenses, your drug coverage, and most importantly, your health.

Medicare Part B: Understanding Changes in Premiums and Deductibles in 2024

Starting on January 1, 2024, those who are enrolled in Original Medicare (which includes Part A and Part B) or a Medicare Advantage plan must prepare for an increase in the standard Part B monthly premium. This premium will rise to $174.70, a 6% increase from 2023 marking a difference of around 10$. Additionally, the Part B annual deductible is not immune to these changes – it’s anticipated to increase by $14, which is a hike of 6.2%, resulting in a new total of $240 for the year 2024.

Additional Costs: Understanding IRMAAs

Certain Medicare beneficiaries, whose income goes beyond a specific limit, will also face a surcharge on their Part B premium, known as an Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). In 2024, this charge will range from $69.90 to $419.30, which is an increase from the 2023 rates of $65.90 to $395.60. This affects about 8% of Medicare beneficiaries.

Changes in IRMAA Income Thresholds

The income limit, or threshold, which determines whether an individual is required to pay an IRMAA, is also seeing an increase. Every year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews tax return data from two years prior to determine if an IRMAA applies. For the year 2024, beneficiaries will need to pay an additional amount if their 2022 modified gross adjusted income was $103,000 or higher. For those filing taxes jointly with a spouse, the threshold is $206,000. This marks a rise of 6.2% from the 2023 thresholds, which were set at $97,000 for individuals and $194,000 for joint filers.

This clarification on changes to Medicare Part B is meant to simplify the understanding of these cost shifts for our senior readers, allowing easier financial planning for the coming year.

Part D Premiums May Be Dropping Slightly

In 2024, the estimated average monthly premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is expected to decrease slightly to $55.50, down from 2023’s $56.49, as reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This small reduction of 99 cents is a result of the stipulations put forth by the Inflation Reduction Act. Similar to Part B, approximately 8% of Medicare Part D beneficiaries are required to pay an Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), which varies from $12.90 to $81, based on the beneficiary’s income from two years prior.

Part D catastrophic drug costs will be eliminated

In an effort to provide a clearer understanding of the evolving Medicare landscape, it is vital to discuss the impending changes in Medicare Part D, particularly relating to ‘catastrophic’ prescription drug costs. Currently, Medicare Part D beneficiaries, once reaching the catastrophic threshold of $7,400 in 2023, become responsible for up to 5% of their drug costs for the rest of the year – a seemingly small percentage which can, however, translate to significant expenses. To illustrate, consider a medication priced at $30,000 per month. The 5% co-payment would equate to a considerable $1,500 monthly expense.

This financial burden will, however, be alleviated in 2024. Upon reaching the catastrophic threshold, which will be adjusted to $8,000, enrollees will no longer be required to pay any coinsurance. Essentially, your prescription drug costs will be effectively capped once you hit this limit. It’s important to note that this spending threshold includes not just out-of-pocket expenses but also the discount received from drug manufacturers during the ‘coverage gap’ phase. Consequently, the entire $8,000 will not all come directly from the beneficiary’s pocket, making this a significant relief for many Medicare Part D enrollees.

Additional Mental Health Services

Medicare broadens its scope of coverage to include mental health services administered by a range of professionals such as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, nurse practitioners, clinical social workers, physician assistants, and clinical nurse specialists. In the successive year of 2024, there is a further expansion planned, incorporating the services of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists. Additionally, a variety of outpatient programs will be included, such as those offered by community mental health centers, hospitals, rural health clinics, and federally qualified health centers, in addition to services for partial hospitalization.

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