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Medicare Minutes: A Cap on Out-of-Pocket Prescription Costs

In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge. All articles and interviews are informational only, should never be considered medical advice, and should never be acted on without review with your health care team.

On Jan 1, 2024 as we all rang in the new year, the 5% cost sharing for patients in the “catastrophic phase” of our Medicare plans was eliminated. 

The practical effect of this is quite enormous. According to a 2022 Kaiser Family Foundation brief (see graphic below), Part D enrollees taking only brand-name drugs will see a cap of about $3,300 on their out-of-pocket expenses for 2024.* The impact for many cancer patients who need to take expensive drugs is dramatic.

And don’t forget that, beginning next January, out-of-pocket costs for Part D drugs will be capped at an even lower $2,000* (adjusted to inflation each subsequent year). 

* Note: This applies to oral and self-administered (Part D) drug costs. This does not apply to Part B infused drugs and costs Medicare otherwise covers like doctor visits, hospitalizations, etc.