Good News on 2014 Medicare Prescription Drug Premiums
Overall stable or lower cost options available to seniors
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an analysis of Medicare standalone prescription drug plans (Part D) based on data recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), HealthPocket found that plans will have a stable average premium of $53.80 for 2014, compared to $53.74 for 2013. The analysis also found that the number of participating plans is consistently high throughout the states, ranging from the high 20s to low 30s.
The lowest premium price leader for 2014 is a Humana Walmart RX plan at $12.60 a month. Last year's leader, UnitedHealthcare's AARP MedicareRX Saver Plus, rose from $15 to an average of $23.74 per month for 2014. States that have a premium average more than 10 percent above the national average are: Florida ($63.73); Idaho ($62.23); Utah ($62.23); and Pennsylvania ($61.62). States that have a premium average more than 10 percent below the national average are: Arkansas ($48.15); Maine ($47.67); New Hampshire ($47.67); and Hawaii ($41.98).
"These numbers point to a positive overall picture for Medicare enrollees concerned about their premiums for prescription drugs," said Steve Zaleznick, executive director for Consumer Strategy and Development at HealthPocket.com. "Yet the ultimate costs for Part D drugs can vary widely depending on where a medication fits within a plan's pricing schedule and if there are any restrictions. Consumers should do their research and make their ultimate choice based on a combination of these factors to get the best deal."
Seniors also need to be aware that the Medicare annual enrollment period does not follow the highly publicized schedule for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. The deadline for Medicare annual enrollment ends on December 7, versus December 15 for an ACA plan to be effective January 1, 2014. In addition to the government's Medicare site, during open enrollment consumers can review their prescription medication needs and use pricing tools to compare how each plan covers their prescriptions by using HealthPocket's free Medicare comparison tool.
HealthPocket.com is a free website that compares and ranks all health plans available to an individual, family, or small business, so everyone can make their best health plan decision and save on their out of pocket costs. The Company uses only objective data from government, non-profit, and private sources that carry no conditions that might restrict the site from serving as an unbiased resource. The founders of HealthPocket.com spent decades pioneering online access to health insurance information and knew they could offer something different that can positively change how people buy and use healthcare in the U.S. Learn more at www.HealthPocket.com.
Posted: October 2013
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