As we usher in 2024, over 65 million seniors across the United States who benefit from Medicare, the government’s health insurance program, have reasons to celebrate. Medicare has introduced five significant updates that promise enhanced coverage and support for our elderly population. These changes reflect a commitment to improving seniors’ well-being and financial security, underscoring the importance of effectively understanding and accessing these benefits.

  1. Expanded Mental Health Coverage

    In an unprecedented move, Medicare has broadened its mental health services to include about 400,000 additional licensed providers nationwide. This expansion means seniors can now access a more comprehensive network of professionals closer to home, including marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors. Moreover, Medicare’s enhanced support for individuals dealing with alcohol abuse or substance use disorder, with coverage extending to psychotherapy, prescription drugs, and screenings, marks a significant step forward in addressing the substance abuse epidemic affecting older Americans.

  2. Increased Access to Medicare Part D Extra Help

    The Medicare Extra Help Program, designed to assist low-income seniors and people with disabilities in paying their Medicare Part D premiums, is set to increase its outreach. This initiative aims to enroll up to 3 million more individuals. At the same time, 300,000 current enrollees will benefit from expanded coverage, reducing their out-of-pocket costs for prescription medications by an average of $300 annually.

  3. Savings on Specialty Medications

    For those reliant on expensive specialty medications, 2024 brings substantial financial relief. Once out-of-pocket costs exceed $8,000 annually, beneficiaries will no longer face additional co-pays or coinsurance for the rest of the year. This cap on out-of-pocket expenses represents a critical safety net for individuals battling severe health conditions.

  4. Affordable Insulin

    Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, the cost of insulin for Medicare Part D enrollees is now capped at $35 per month. This significant price reduction removes financial barriers to accessing vital medication for many seniors with diabetes, addressing the pressing issue of insulin affordability.

  5. Coverage for Chronic Pain Management

    Medicare’s new provisions for chronic pain patients include coverage for medication management and pain assessment services. This development acknowledges the importance of comprehensive pain management strategies, enhancing the quality of life for those affected. To better understand the above Medicare benefits, consult your health insurance agent.

What Did Not Change: Medicare Rehabilitation Coverage

One Medicare benefit that is not changing for 2024 is coverage for rehabilitation following a qualifying hospital admission. Many people believe Medicare pays for 100 days of rehab, but that is inaccurate. Medicare will pay for up to 20 days in full and up to an additional 80 days in part, if a patient continues to participate in therapies and the therapies help the patient to maintain his or her health status. On average across the nation, patients receive fewer than 30 days of rehab. Once rehab ends, if a person is unable to return home and will need the nursing home long-term, he or she will have to pay privately or qualify for Medicaid.


At  Kentucky ElderLaw, we offer a FREE consultation to help you understand when Medicaid will pay for the nursing home and what steps you may be able to take to qualify for help sooner.

Take advantage of the benefits you’re entitled to. Contact Kentucky ElderLaw today and secure your peace of mind for the future.