Medicare Update

Medicare Set-Aside Blog on August 19, 2008
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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS Reports Lower Medicare Part D Costs Than Expected in 2009

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced in a Press Release that, based on bids submitted by Medicare Part D plans, CMS estimates that the average monthly premium that beneficiaries will pay for standard Part D coverage in 2009 will be $28. 

CMS reports that this is approximately 37 percent lower than the original estimate for 2009 of $44.12, which was made at the time the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 was enacted.  CMS also reports that the average expected premium for basic coverage in 2009 is about $3 higher than the actual average for 2008.  CMS attributes the $3 increase to general trends in drug costs, the phase out of a CMS demonstration project, and higher plan estimates for catastrophic coverage based on prior experience.

In addition to announcing the average premiums for 2009, CMS also announced: (i) the 2009 national average monthly bid; (ii) the base beneficiary premium; (iii) the regional low income subsidy premium amounts for 2009; and (iv) the 2009 Medicare Advantage regional preferred provider organization benchmarks.  That information can be found here.

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