Avalere: Premiums for Top 10 Part D Plans To Rise Less Than Thought
Premiums for the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit will increase by 0.2% in 2011 for the top 10 drug plans, according to an analysis by Avalere Health, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Lillis, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 10/15). Avalere still predicts that average premiums across the entire market will rise by about 10% ("2011 Medicare Prescription Drug Landscape," Avalere Health, 10/2010)
Avalere in September estimated that premiums for Part D will increase by an average of 10% among the top 10 drug plans, which cover around 70% of beneficiaries. Meanwhile, a separate study released earlier this month by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that Part D premiums will increase by 10% on average if beneficiaries remain with their current plans (California Healthline, 10/5).
However, new projections from Medicare indicate that one plan -- First Health's Premier Plus -- will not be among the top 10 plans, as Avalere originally thought. Instead, Medicare plans to switch beneficiaries enrolled in the Premier Plus plan to First Health's Premier plan.
The Premier plan likely will increase its monthly premium by about 20% in 2011, compared with the nearly 43% increase in premiums expected in the Premier Plus plan. As a result, the average increase will be lower, according to Avalere's new estimate ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 10/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.