Medicare Drug Premiums Remain Stable Four Years in a Row

For the fourth consecutive year, the average premium for a basic prescription drug plan in 2014 is expected to remain stable at an estimated $31 per month, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

For the last three years — for plan years 2011, 2012, and 2013 — the average Medicare Part D monthly premium was projected to be $30, HHS officials state.

More than 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs since the ACA was implemented, an average of $1,061 per beneficiary, the HHS said.

The projection for the average premium for 2014 was based on bids submitted by drug and health plans for basic drug coverage during the 2014 benefit year, and calculated by the 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 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.

Source: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), July 30, 2013

Drug Benefit Trends and Strategies: 2013 provides convenient access to analysis by industry experts and thought leaders from across the nation to help you answer vital questions such as significant trends in payors’ coverage, the effect of the Essential Health Benefit provisions on health insurance exchanges.

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