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HHS announces Medicare prescription drug premiums to remain steady

Posted on August 7, 2012 | No Comments

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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the average basic premiums for Medicare prescription drug plans are projected to remain constant in 2013. The average 2013 monthly premium for basic prescription drug coverage is expected to be $30. Average premiums for 2012 were projected to be $30 and ultimately averaged $29.67. At the same time, since the law was enacted, seniors and people with disabilities have saved $3.9 billion on prescription drugs as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) began closing the “donut hole” coverage gap.

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The new health reform law phases out the coverage gap under Medicare Part D byreducing over time the amount of cost sharing incurred by beneficiaries for both generic and brand name drugs in the coverage gap. The law also establishes a “coverage gap discount program” as a condition of Part D program participation for pharmaceutical manufacturers.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued new guidance to Part D plan sponsors for implementation of discount drug program for beneficiaries in the "donut hole" due to go into effect in 2011.