Medicare Drug Premiums Expected to Remain Stable


On the 48th anniversary of the signing of Medicare and Medicaid
into law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released
data showing that the average premium for a basic prescription drug plan in
2014 is projected to remain stable, at an estimated $31 per month
. This
news comes as seniors and people with disabilities continue to save money on
out-of-pocket drug costs. Yesterday, HHS announced that more than 6.6 million
people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs as a
result of the Affordable Care Act, an average of $1,061 per beneficiary. The Affordable
Care Act closes the donut hole over time. For the fourth straight year, the
average Medicare Part D monthly premium will remain steady, and is projected to
be $31. For the last three years – for plan years 2011, 2012, and 2013 – the
average premium was projected to be $30. Today’s projection for the average
premium for 2014 is based on bids submitted by drug and health plans for basic
drug coverage during the 2014 benefit year, and calculated by the Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary. CMS has already
announced that key parameters for Part D will actually be lower in 2014 than in
2013. For example, the Part D deductible will fall from $325 to $310, producing
additional savings for enrollees.

The upcoming annual open enrollment period, which begins October
15 and ends December 7, allows people with Medicare, working with their
families and their caregivers, to choose their plans for next year by comparing
their current coverage and quality ratings to other plan offerings. New benefit
choices are effective Jan. 1, 2014.

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