The 2024 Medicare Part D Plans are out, and the news is not overwhelmingly good in terms of premiums, and deductibles, but there are a couple of bright spots.
The bright spots for 2024 Medicare Part D Plans
Availability of Plans:
The first bright spot for Medicare beneficiaries in Part D is that only 11% of the existing Part D Plans from 2023 will be unavailable or cease to exist.
This means for most people who have prescription drug cover through a Part D Plan their plan will still be available next year. The worry of having to find a new plan shouldn’t exist for many unless their plan changed in terms of drugs that are being covered or too high of increase in premiums.
New sheriff in town for Premiums:
For the past few years when it came to the lowest monthly premium per state Atena’s Medicare SilverScript SmartSaver (PDP) was always the best, but in 2024 that title will go to Wellcare’s Value Script (PDP).
The monthly premium for Wellcare’s Value Script in most states will be under $1.00 a month with the few exceptions being Alaska ($3.50), Arkansas ($1.60), Louisianna ($2.90), New York ($3.70), and Oklahoma ($6.90).
This Part D Plan is the most affordable plan in terms of just premiums throughout the country in 2024.
When it comes to choosing a Part D Plan cost is NOT the most crucial factor, the ability of the Part D Plan to cover medications is!
Before selecting any Part D Plan, PLEASE access Medicare’s Plan Finder. There you will be able to enter your medications and find a Part D Plan that best suit your needs.
If you are not currently taking any medications and believe that will remain not taking any medications for the full year then by all means get the cheapest available.
Drop in Overall Costs for some Part D Plans:
2024 will bring a somewhat significant drop in Overall Costs for at least a couple of plans in each state.
Aetna’ Medicare SilverScript SmartSaver (PDP) is the biggest winner in terms of reduction in Overall Costs going into 2024 as the amount dropped on a national average by over 29.00% with the exception of the state of New York as it increased there.
Unfortunately, for 2024 Medicare Part D Plans there really isn’t that many other bright spots as premiums and deductibles have risen for more than 75% of all the Plans available.
What to be aware of with 2024 Medicare Part D Plans
Number of Plans:
Though the majority of Part D Plans are still available 2024 will mark the lowest number of plans to choose from since 2017.
Without a lot of competition many Medicare beneficiaries needing a Part D Plan will be left with very few options, especially if they are in a Plan that is already somewhat expensive.
In 2023 the average monthly premium was $49.03 and in 2024 the average will increase by over 20% to $59.25.
Residents in Pennsylvania and West Virginia will see the lowest increase in premiums at 6.13%.
Residents in California and Georgia will see the greatest increase in premiums at over 34%.
The Part D Deductible, which, typically, must be paid before coverage begins, will increase from $505 in 2023 to $545 in 2024.
Not every Part D Plan has a Deductible and these Deductible historically have been used to keep costs low, but even these plans will see an increase in Overall Costs of 7.45% in 2024.
For those who are looking for a Part D Plan without having the worry to meet a Deductible AARP’s Medicare Rx Preferred from UHC (PDP) on a national average will be 5.00% less in 2024. In fact, in every state the Overall Cost will be lower for this specific Plan in 2024.
When it comes to Overall Costs (monthly premium plus deductible) the national average in 2023 was $81.45 a month and in 2024 the monthly will be $91.77 a month.
This is a 12.67% rate of inflation is much higher than not only the country’s national inflation rate but will be significantly higher than Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
Social Security is projecting the COLA to between 2.75% and 3.5% under the current information.
For retirees looking to keep up with inflation the 2024 Medicare Part D Plans may throw a crimp into their plans.
If you are about to enroll or are already in a Part D Plan your goal this coming Open Enrollment is to shop for the most affordable Plan that best covers your medications.
For more information on which of the 2024 Medicare Part D Plans is best for you please access Medicare’s Plan Finder or contact an IRMAA Certified Financial Professional who can assist you with your needs.