Premiums for Medicare Part D Rx Plans To Rise by 10%, Study Finds
Premiums for the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit will increase by 10% on average if beneficiaries remain with their current plans, according to a study released on Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, CQ HealthBeat reports.
The report also found that the number of available plans will decline by one-third nationally, but that the average beneficiary will be able to choose from 33 stand-alone Part D plans.
The KFF study is the second recent study to predict a rise in premiums for Part D next year (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 10/4). A study by Avalere Health released last month found that Part D premiums will increase by an average of 10% among the top 10 drug plans, which cover around 70% of beneficiaries.
Avalere also found that more than three million beneficiaries will see their plans discontinued next year because of mandates in the federal health reform law that insurers eliminate duplicative plans. Medicare officials intend for all but 300,000 beneficiaries to be switched easily to another plan under the same insurer (California Healthline, 9/24).
The KFF study found that average monthly premiums will rise from $36.90 in 2010 to $40.72 in 2011. Fewer Part D plans will be offered next year than any year since Medicare began including prescription drug plans in 2006, according to the study. KFF officials said the reduction likely was caused by CMS attempting to reduce the number of duplicate and low-enrollment plans (CQ HealthBeat, 10/4).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.