Medicare Part D Premiums Steady for 2013

September 7th, 2012 | Posted by Angela Chen in Medicare Costs | Medicare News | Medicare Part D
5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 55 votes, average: 5.00 out of 55 votes, average: 5.00 out of 55 votes, average: 5.00 out of 55 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5

Medicare Part D Premiums Steady for 2013What can Medicare beneficiaries expect to pay for Medicare Part D coverage in 2013?

In the upcoming year, Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) are expected to pay about the same for medication coverage as they have in the past few years, according to healthcare officials.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) forecasted that the average Medicare Part D premium in 2013 will be $30 a month. The estimate was based on bids from private insurance companies that offer Medicare PDPs to eligible beneficiaries. Average premiums were also projected to be the same amount in 2012, with the actual average being $29.67. These amounts are similar to the $30.76 average 2011 Part D premium.

The discount on both generic and brand-name drugs in the Medicare “donut hole” will continue to increase yearly until 2020, when the coverage gap is expected to be closed. In 2013, beneficiaries in the donut hole can expect to pay 47.5% (50% discount from the drug manufacturer and 2.5% government subsidy) of the cost of brand-name drugs and 79% of the cost of generic drugs due to a 14% government subsidy. Medicare beneficiaries will hit the donut hole in 2013 when their total drug spending, both out-of-pocket and from coverage from their Medicare plan, has reached $2,970, which is $40 more than the previous year.

HHS officials attribute these low Part D premiums and prescription drug savings to the Affordable Care Act.

“Premiums are holding steady and, thanks to the health care law, millions of people with Medicare are saving an average of $600 each year on their prescription drugs,” said HHS Secretary Katherine Sebelius.

Since the health care law was enacted, over 5.2 million seniors and individuals with disabilities have saved over $3.9 billion on prescription drugs, according to reports. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also released data that showing that over a million Medicare beneficiaries saved $687 million on medications in the Medicare donut hole for an average of $629 in savings in the first half of 2012.

Bloomberg and Reuters also covered this story.

Medicare beneficiaries should still consider their options and compare Medicare Part D plans for 2013 during Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).

Although the estimated monthly premium has not increased, Medicare beneficiaries should keep in mind that the forecasted amount is an average. While some beneficiaries may see a decrease in their Part D plan’s monthly premium compared to last year, others may see an increase. Part D plans can vary yearly when it comes to premiums, what drugs are covered, how much drugs will cost, what pharmacies are approved, and a number of other factors. Additionally, a beneficiary’s health and medication needs may change. It is important for beneficiaries to compare Medicare Part D plans annually during AEP to ensure that they are enrolled in the best plan for their medication needs.

The Annual Enrollment Period this year will be from October 15th to December 7th. PlanPrescriber provides a free Medicare Part D plan comparison tool that allows customization based on personalized medication usage.

 

Medicare has not reviewed or endorsed this information.

About

As a contributor and editor of the PlanPrescriber Blog, has extensive knowledge about the Medicare program and the various associated private insurance products, including Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans. Her areas of interest include health and wellness, marketing, journalism, and social media.

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4 Responses

  • Ross Blair says:

    Hello Rochelle,
    Thank you for your post. I encourage you to review your current plan and prescription medications within the PlanPrescriber Medicare comparison tool to review if there are Medicare plans in your area with lower costs. However, before switching plans, it is best to make sure your MD and hospital are in network and if choosing prescription coverage with a pharmacy network, that your favorite pharmacy is in network.

    http://www.planprescriber.com/medicare-part-d/compare-plans/

    Ross Blair ratings for this post: Ross Blair gives a rating of 5Ross Blair gives a rating of 5Ross Blair gives a rating of 5Ross Blair gives a rating of 5Ross Blair gives a rating of 5
  • Bob Palinchak says:

    Premiums for 2013 are not holding nor are the myriad changes in co-pays and variant rules that apply. My premium for First Health is going from $25.60 to $32.90. This represents a basic increase of 32.4%–hardly steady as your article would suggest. There are also significant rises in tier co-pays.

    It seems obvious that the drug companies and insurers that run these programs are cost shifting their products and services so that when the donut hole goes away in 2020 the costs will just be moved to rising premiums and co-pays.

    It’s so easy to see the scam that is being set up here as the government continues to underwrite the political drug situation for seniors on Medicare.

    Bob Palinchak did not rate this post.
  • C. Miller says:

    I have not used your PlanPrescriber Medicare Comparison Tool because I do not want to be flooded with emails and telephone calls from competing insurance companies.. Do you give, sell, compare or allow competing insurance companies to have and/or use my email and telephone number???????

    C. Miller did not rate this post.
  • Ross Blair says:

    Hello C.Miller,

    Thank you for voicing your concern.

    The PlanPrescriber Medicare plan comparison tool is a cost-free, no-obligation way for Medicare beneficiaries to compare available plans in their area online. In order to use the tool, you do not need to provide any personal information. You are only required to enter a zip code to see Medicare plans available where you reside, as plans vary by state and county.

    If you choose to share any personal information in the optional form, please note that we will not sell your e-mail, telephone number, or any other personal information to any other competing insurance companies. However, by submitting your information, you do agree that a PlanPrescriber licensed agent may contact you to discuss Medicare Advantage, Part D Drug and Medicare Supplement Plans in your area and you acknowledge that you have read and understand PlanPrescriber’s Terms and Conditions.

    We hope this answers your question and that you consider the PlanPrescriber Medicare plan comparison tool when reviewing Medicare plan options in your area.

    http://www.planprescriber.com/medicare-part-d/compare-plans/

    Ross Blair ratings for this post: Ross Blair gives a rating of 5Ross Blair gives a rating of 5Ross Blair gives a rating of 5Ross Blair gives a rating of 5Ross Blair gives a rating of 5


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