Lower Drug Plan Premiums Expected in 2007
Medicare prescription drug plan premiums in California likely will be less than the projected $24 per month national average because of competition among plans, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
CMS this week released estimates on premiums for 2007 based on a review of bids from insurance companies. Companies cannot release actual premiums until Oct. 1.
This year, California bids had the lowest average monthly premiums in the nation at $25. State residents paid an average of $23 per month for prescription drug coverage. CMS estimated national average premiums of $32 per month for 2006, but most beneficiaries paid less than that amount.
California's premiums likely will be lower than the national average in 2007 because the state "is a large marketplace" and competition among plans has driven down prices, according to Jeff Flick, regional administrator for CMS in San Francisco.
CMS expects to release information on average premium costs by state by the end of the month (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/17).