CMS Projects $31 Monthly Premium for Medicare Part D in 2014

After reviewing the bids from Medicare Part D plan sponsors and the projections of the CMS Actuary, CMS expects that the premium for basic coverage by a Medicare prescription drug plan will be $31 per month in 2014. The premium has remained at $30 per month since 2011. The copayment for beneficiaries who reach catastrophic coverage has been reduced from $2.55 to $2.35 for 2014, as was announced earlier this year.

The deductible for Part D will be reduced from $325 in 2013 to $310 in 2014 as provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (P.L. 111-148). In addition, the coverage gap, referred to as the “donut hole,” will be reduced further, as it will each year until it closes in 2020, while the discounts available during the gap period will continue. About 6.6 million Medicare beneficiaries who reached the initial coverage limit have saved about $7 billion in drug costs as a result of PPACA, averaging $1,061 per beneficiary, according to the agency’s calculations.

On July 30, 2013, the 48th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare, HHS Secretary Sebelius noted that Medicare spending has grown more slowly than the economy as a whole. “Seniors are benefiting from improved benefits and low premiums,” she said.

Open enrollment for Medicare Part D in 2014 begins October 15, 2013 and ends December 7, 2013. Beneficiaries will be able to compare the costs, coverage and quality ratings of the available plans to their current plan as they make their choices for coverage beginning January 1, 2014.