CMS projects that the average premium for a basic Medicare part D prescription drugs coverage plan in 2016 will remain stable, at an estimated $32.50 per month.
This news comes despite the fact that total Part D costs per capita grew by almost 11 percent in 2014, as a result of high cost specialty drugs and their effect on spending in the catastrophic benefit phase.
However, growth in per-Medicare enrollee spending continues to be historically low, averaging 1.3 percent over the last five years. The 2015 Medicare Trustees report projected that the Medicare Trust Fund will remain solvent until 2030, thirteen years longer than they projected in 2009, before the passage of the ACA.
At this time, seniors and people with disabilities are continuing to see savings on out of pocket drugs costs as the ACA closes the “Part D donut hole” over time. More than 9.4 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved over $15 billion on prescription drugs, an average of $1,598 per beneficiary since the implementation of the ACA.
The upcoming annual open enrollment period begins on October 15 and ends on December 7. It allows people with Medicare to choose health and drugs plans next year by comparing their current coverage and plan quality ratings to other plan offerings. The new benefit choices are effective January 1, 2016.
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