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Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $174.70 in 2024, or higher depending on your income. The amount can change each year. You’ll pay the premium each month, even if you don’t get any Part B-covered services .
Most Medicare beneficiaries have Part B premiums deducted directly from their monthly Social Security payments.
You might pay a monthly penalty if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible for Medicare (usually when you turn 65). You’ll pay the penalty for as long as you have Part B. The penalty goes up the longer you wait to sign up.
The annual Part B deductible will be $240 in 2024 before Original Medicare starts to pay. You pay this deductible once each year.
Usually 20% of the cost for each Medicare-covered service or item after you’ve paid your deductible (and as long as your doctor or health care provider accepts the Medicare-approved amount as full payment – called “accepting assignment”
There is some very good news out of Washington for Medicare enrollees. The Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed into law last month has a series of new rules that will reduce the cost of prescription drugs for many retirees. None of the changes are immediate. Here’s the timeline for how new federal legislation will focus on reducing out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare enrollees:
The monthly copay for insulin will be capped at $35 a month. This provision only applies to Medicare enrollees; there is no insulin price cap for people with private insurance through an employer or the ACA.
There will be no copay for vaccines such as flu, pneumonia and shingles.
Annual out-of-pocket prescription drug costs will be capped at $2,000 for Medicare enrollees. That’s an important improvement over the current Medicare Part D system that continues to charge a 5% copay even after an enrollee has reached the “catastrophic” drug spending copay threshold ($7,050 in 2022.)
Medicare, the biggest health care provider in the country, has never been allowed to negotiate prices for prescription drug costs. That’s not just costly for Medicare enrollees, it is a cost to the federal government and thus all taxpayers who are responsible for Medicare’s funding. Beginning in 2026 10 drugs will be priced based on negotiated rates, with more drugs to follow in the following three years. It has not yet been determined which 10 high-cost drugs will be in the first batch.