CMS issues Part D premiums for 2018

The average premium for a basic Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2018 will be $33.50 per month, which is a decrease from $34.70 in 2017, according to a projection from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“We are committed to making prescription drug plan premiums affordable so that seniors and people with disabilities in Medicare can access the prescription drugs that they need,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “This projection is a step forward in fulfilling the Trump Administration’s promise to lower the cost of prescription drug coverage, particularly for Medicare beneficiaries.”

The decline in the average premium comes despite the fact that spending for the Part D program continues to increase faster than spending for other parts of Medicare, largely driven by spending on high-cost specialty drugs. As a recent 2017 Medicare Trustees Report noted, growth in Medicare spending on prescription drugs continues to exceed growth in other Medicare spending and in overall U.S. health care spending.

The projection for the average premium for 2018 is based on bids submitted by drug plans for basic drug coverage for the 2018 benefit year and calculated by the independent CMS Office of the Actuary.

SOURCE: CMS press release, August 2, 2015.
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