Medicare costs: Key takeaways
When it comes to determining which Medicare coverage is right for your situation, there’s a long list of factors that you can and should consider.
But the actual costs of coverage are critical to consumers – and like most products and services, they change from year to year. Here’s a quick guide to the costs Medicare beneficiaries can expect in 2024 for each type of Medicare coverage (CMS source).
(Note that while Medicare Advantage enrollees are still responsible for the Part B premium, the plan design and cost-sharing structure will be different under a Medicare Advantage plan; the following details for out-of-pocket costs under Medicare Parts A and B are specific to people who have Original Medicare.)
Medicare Part A (inpatient care)
2024 Medicare Part A premium:
- There is no Medicare Part A premium for most beneficiaries who paid into Medicare through payroll taxes (99% of Medicare beneficiaries do not have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A).
- The Part A premium is $278/month for those who worked / paid into Medicare between 7.5 and 10 years. (Work history can be yours or your spouse’s.) This is unchanged from 2023.
- The premium is $505/month for those with a work history of less than 7.5 years (this is a slight decrease from 2023).
2024 Part A deductible:
- The 2024 Medicare Part A deductible is $1,632.
- It covers up to 60 days in the hospital.
- The Part A deductible is per benefit period, NOT per year. Once a beneficiary has been out of the hospital for at least 60 days, a new benefit period would start if and when they needed to be hospitalized again.
2024 Part A daily copayments:
Part A copayments apply if and when you’re hospitalized for longer than 60 days, or spend more than 20 days in a skilled nursing facility after being discharged from the hospital. Here are the details:
- 2024 Part A copayment is $408 per inpatient day (days 61-90 in the benefit period for which the deductible applied).
- Part A copayment is $816 per inpatient day for day 91 and beyond during the benefit period. These are your lifetime reserve days, and you only get 60 of them over the course of your lifetime. They only start to be used up once you’ve spent 90 days in the hospital during a single benefit period. But if you do use up all your lifetime reserve days and don’t have supplemental coverage, you’re responsible for all hospital costs after the lifetime reserve days are used up. However, if you’re discharged, stay out of the hospital for at least 60 days, and then have to be readmitted, a new benefit period would begin and you’d only have to pay the Part A deductible for the first 60 days of inpatient care in the new benefit period.
- Medicare Part A covers 100% of the cost of skilled nursing facility care for the first 20 days, as long as you had at least a three-night inpatient hospital stay prior to the skilled nursing facility stay. After the first 20 days, your skilled nursing facility coinsurance in 2024 will be $204 per day for days 21-100. (After that, Medicare no longer covers skilled nursing facility charges, so you’ll pay the full cost.)
Learn more about Medicare Part A.
Medicare Part B (outpatient care)
2024 Medicare Part B premiums:
2024 Part B deductible:
- Enrollees who receive Part B-covered treatment during the year must pay the Part B deductible, which will be $240 in 2024.
- Medigap plans C and F will pay the Part B deductible for you, but they’re no longer available for newly eligible Medicare enrollees. People who were already eligible for Medicare prior to the start of 2020 can keep Plans C or F if they already have them, or enroll in them at a later date. But people who become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020 no longer have access to Medigap plans that cover the Medicare Part B deductible. (Plan G is still available for newly eligible enrollees; it’s the same as Plan F except enrollees cover the Part B deductible themselves.)
2024 Medicare Part B coinsurance:
Learn more about Medicare Part B.
Medigap out-of-pocket costs
- The out-of-pocket costs you’ll pay after your Medigap plan pays its share will depend on the plan design you select.
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)
2024 Medicare Advantage premiums:
- If you have Medicare Advantage, you’ll pay the Part B premium ($174.70/month for most people in 2024) plus the Medicare Advantage premium for your coverage.
- The average 2024 Medicare Advantage premium is $18.50/month. But that average includes the 73% of enrollees who have zero-premium Medicare Advantage plans (meaning they only pay the Medicare Part B premium, and have no additional charge for their Medicare Advantage plan). If we only consider the people whose Medicare Advantage plan does have a separate premium — in addition to Part B — the average premium was $57/month in 2023.
2024 Medicare Advantage maximum out-of-pocket:
- The Medicare Advantage maximum out-of-pocket in 2024 will be $8,850 for in-network services, up from $8,300 in 2023 (this does not include prescription drug costs).
- But that’s the upper limit. In 2023, the average Medicare Advantage plan has an out-of-pocket cap that’s a little less than $5,000 for in-network care, and less than $9,000 for in-network and out-of-network care combined (again, not counting prescription drug costs).
Learn more about Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage
2024 Medicare Part D premiums:
- CMS projects that the average Medicare Part D basic plan premium will increase to $34.50/month in 2024, up from $32.09/month in 2023.
- The average total Medicare Part D premium (including basic and enhanced benefits) is expected to be $55.50/month in 2024, down from $56.49 in 2023.
- The enrollment-weighted average premium for a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan – including basic and enhanced plans – is about $40/month in 2023.
2024 Medicare Part D deductible:
- The maximum Part D deductible an enrollee will pay is $545 in 2024, up from $505 in 2023. (Some plans have no deductible at all.)
Part D out-of-pocket costs after deductible:
- Part D out-of-pocket costs after the deductible can not exceed 25% of the cost of brand-name and generic costs.
- There is no longer a donut hole, in terms of the maximum amount that enrollees can be charged when they fill prescriptions. But the donut hole still exists in terms of how total drug costs are counted and who covers the bulk of the cost of the drugs (the drug plan versus the manufacturer; see Figure 5 here).
Learn more about Medicare Part D.
Medicare Extra Help
Medicare Extra Help beneficiary 2024 co-pays:
- Medicare Extra Help copays in 2024 will range from $1.55 to $11.20, depending on whether the drug is generic, preferred, brand-name, etc.
Learn more about Medicare Extra Help.
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.