Medicare Will Not Boost Drug Premiums for 2013

Medicare will not raise premiums for its Part D drug plan for 2013, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Monday, Aug 6.

The average monthly prescription drug premium next year will remain at around $30, similar to costs for the prior two years.

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

The annual enrollment period for Medicare’s Part D drug plan begins Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, 2012. (See medicare.gov/part-d/ for information about Medicare drug coverage.)

During this time, Medicare recipients can choose their plans for 2013, comparing rates and coverage of different plans. Any choice they make becomes effective Jan 1, 2013.

Drug Coverage Will Expand, Through 2020

Also according to the memo, Secretary Sebilius notes that, “As a result of the Affordable Care Act, coverage for both brand name and generic drugs in the coverage gap will continue to increase over time until 2020, when the coverage gap will be fully closed.  This year, people with Medicare received a 50% discount on covered brand name drugs and 14% coverage of generic drugs in the donut hole.

In 2013, Medicare Part D’s coverage of brand name drugs will begin to increase, meaning that people with Medicare will receive a total of 52.5% off the cost of  brand name drugs (a 50% discount and an additional 2.5% in coverage) and coverage for 21% of the cost of generic drugs in the donut hole.

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