The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that the average prescription drug premiums for Medicare beneficiaries will not rise in 2012. The cost of the average Medicare prescription drug plan premium in 2012 will be about $30. The average premium in 2011 is $30.76. The announcement was based on bids submitted by Part D plans for the 2012 plan year. Click here for a national and regional breakdown of the premium data.
The announcement came as new data released by HHS show that due to policies implemented under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more people with Medicare are receiving discounts on prescription drug costs and no-cost preventive services. The new data indicate that 17 million people with Medicare have received free preventive services this year, while 900,000 Medicare beneficiaries who hit the prescription drug coverage gap – or “donut hole” – have received a 50% discount on their medications.
The ACA included provisions to allow Medicare beneficiaries to access recommended preventive benefits and a new annual wellness visit at no out-of-pocket cost. It also enacted a series of moves designed to close the prescription drug donut hole by 2020. Click here to view a brief 3-minute video outlining other provisions in the ACA that benefit people on Medicare.
State-by-state information on the number of Medicare beneficiaries who have seen lower out-of-pocket costs in the donut hole is available here.
State-by-state information on utilization of free preventive services and the annual wellness visit is available online here.
In addition, Medicare recently launched “Share the News. Share the Health,” a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of prevention for people with Medicare and their health care providers. The campaign website provides important information for seniors on preventive care in Medicare, including information on managing your health, Medicare basics, and a resource locator.