No Medicare Drug Plan Cost Increases For Seniors In 2013

Topics: Health Costs, Medicare, Insurance, Marketplace

Aug 07, 2012

The Obama administration announced that costs for seniors’ Medicare Part D premiums will remain stable — marking the third year in a row with little or no change.

The Associated Press: Gov’t: Medicare Drug Plan Premiums Stable For 2013
It’s an economic indicator of sorts for seniors: The Obama administration says the average premium for basic Medicare drug coverage will stay the same next year, $30 a month. That’s the third year in a row of little or no change. In addition, Medicare recipients with high prescription costs are saving an average of $629 apiece thanks to a provision of the new health care law that gradually eliminates a coverage gap called the “doughnut hole.” There is a caveat on premiums. Because the number is an average, some beneficiaries may see their monthly cost go up, while others get a decrease (8/6).

Bloomberg: Medicare Drug Plan Premiums To Stay At $30 In Coming Year
Medicare beneficiaries will pay the same premium for prescription drugs next year as they did this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said. Premiums for drug plans that accompany basic Medicare coverage for the elderly and disabled will be an average of $30 in 2013, the department said today in a statement. The estimate is based on bids from private insurers who offer the plans to Medicare patients (Wayne, 8/6).

Reuters: No Increase In Medicare Drug Costs For Seniors
Medicare participants enrolled in the health insurance program’s prescription drug benefit should see their premium cost remain steady next year, health officials said.The Department of Health and Human Service on Monday forecast a $30 average monthly premium for Medicare Part D, similar to the cost in 2012. In 2011, premiums were $30.76.HHS attributed the low premiums to President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act, which includes some measures to lower the cost of medications for seniors (8/6).

The Hill: HHS: No Change In Premiums For Medicare Drug Benefit
Flat premiums help highlight the savings that seniors have seen because of President Obama’s healthcare law. The law provides a discount for seniors who hit the Medicare “doughnut hole” — the coverage gap in which seniors have to pay for their prescriptions out-of-pocket. Those discounts have already saved seniors nearly $4 billion, HHS said. Rising premiums might muddle the picture somewhat, but flat premiums mean that the discounts are the only price change seniors will see (Baker, 8/6).

CQ HealthBeat: CMS Projects $30 A Month Average In 2013 For Prescription Drug Plans
Medicare enrollees should pay about the same monthly premium for their prescription drug plans in 2013 as they did this year, under projections released Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The average basic premium is expected to be about $30 a month, the same projection that was made last year for 2012. The 2012 average turned out to actually be $29.67 (8/6).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

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