Medicare open enrollment begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. During this time, enrollees can make changes to their Medicare coverage for the upcoming year, such as switching between Medicare Advantage plans, switching from MA to traditional Medicare and choosing new supplemental coverage.
Here are five updates to note ahead of the open enrollment period:
- Premiums and deductibles for Medicare part B will increase slightly in 2024. Part B monthly premiums will increase by around 6 percent to $174.70, and annual deductibles will increase around 6 percent to $240. The average monthly premium for Medicare Advantage plans is projected to increase by less than $1 in 2024, according to CMS.
- Insurers are expanding their Medicare Advantage offerings for 2024, entering new markets and states. In addition to adding new markets, some insurers are introducing new partnerships and plan options. Alignment Health will launch a co-branded plan with grocery delivery platform Instacart, and SCAN Health plan will introduce the first Medicare Advantage plan designed for women.
- CMS will put new rules in place governing prior authorizations in Medicare Advantage plans in 2024. Per a final rule CMS issued in April, prior authorization policies may be used only to confirm the presence of diagnoses or other medical criteria and/or ensure that an item or service is medically necessary. Plans also cannot impose any prior authorizations for an active course of treatment during the first 90 days a member is enrolled in a plan.
- Some hospitals and health systems are dropping Medicare Advantage plans. At least one health system, Bend, Ore.-based St. Charles Health System, advised its patients to choose traditional Medicare over Medicare Advantage during the open enrollment period.
- Marketing for Medicare Advantage plans could look different during this open enrollment period. CMS is requiring all Medicare Advantage television advertisements to be submitted to the agency for approval before airing. The agency is also barring any Medicare Advantage advertisements that do not mention a specific plan to cut down on misleading claims.