As we previously reported, nearly 3 million seniors will be forced to change their Medicare drug plan this year due to the new health reform law. Now, in addition to the millions who have to, many may voluntarily change plans if their premiums go up, which is likely. A new report from Avalere Health, a private research firm, shows that among the top Medicare plans, premiums are expected raise an average of 10%.
In general, Medicare officials say the average premium should only raise 1%, but on the high end it could be up to 43%! Enrollees of the First Health Part D Premier Plus plan offered by Coventry Health Care will see monthly payments rise from $64 to $91 – that’s over $300 for the year. Another startling change will be for members of the AARP MedicareRX Saver plan, the second most popular among seniors. These enrollees will be switched to the largest plan, AARP MedicareRX Preferred, and will see, on average, a 15% raise in premiums.
Medicare officials assert that the premium increases are necessary to improve drug coverage. For instance, Medicare enrollees will see improved drug coverage on generic, but also brand name drugs through the doughnut hole.It should be noted that general Medicare restructuring costs are also included in the premium hiked.
For the many who may see more than a “modest” change, the president of Avalare suggests doing your homework ahead of time – “People are just going to have to get on top of this and shop around”. Our site, MedicareDrugPlans.com allows you to read ratings and reviews of the drug plans, and to publish your own to help you find the best plan!Tagged with: AARP, Avalere Health, Healthcare Reform, MedicareRX Preferred, MedicareRX Saver plan, Part D, seniors