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Medicare Rx Premium Beats Projections Due To “Robust Competition”

Executive Summary

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is playing up Part D premium levels as a sign that healthy competition among drug plans will help the program suit the pocketbooks of both beneficiaries and the federal government

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CMS Previews Medicare Rx Plans: 11 To 23 Sponsors Will Compete Per Region

Pennsylvania and West Virginia constitute the Medicare Part D region with the greatest number of stand-alone prescription drug plan sponsors, at 23

CMS Previews Medicare Rx Plans: 11 To 23 Sponsors Will Compete Per Region

Pennsylvania and West Virginia constitute the Medicare Part D region with the greatest number of stand-alone prescription drug plan sponsors, at 23

Part D costs rise...again

Medicare spending estimates for Part D increased by $6.4 bil. to a total of $855.7 bil. over 2006 to 2015 due to a new inflation rate forecast, the Congressional Budget Office says. The 10-year projection period CBO uses to predict spending has changed since the MMA was enacted. It now spans 2006 to 2015 rather than 2004 to 2013 and therefore includes two additional years of prescription drug benefits. CBO had originally predicted spending for Part D from 2004 to 2013 would be $552 bil., then raised the estimate for the same time period to $593 bil. in March (1"The Pink Sheet" March 14, 2005, In Brief). The net cost includes offsetting funds for Part D premiums but does not incorporate expected savings to Medicaid and other federal programs. The most recent estimate is already outdated since CBO completed its summer update before the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the lower than expected base premium levels for Part D (2"The Pink Sheet" Aug. 15, 2005, p. 19)...

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