Medicare Premiums to Drop in 2012
The Obama administration announced another piece of good news for seniors today: there will be no increase in Medicare premiums and these fees for prescription drugs will actually drop a bit.
“Overall, the average premium cost of the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2012 will be about $30, a modest decline from $30.76 paid out on average in 2011”. Many will ask “how did this happen?”. The answer is that Medicare’s drug benefits program is being aided by competition from private insurers and increased use of generic medicines. And experts predict that the prices may continue to drop as more big-time drugs become generic over the next year few years.
DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) secretary Kathleen Sebelius credited President Obama’s health care reform efforts for being crucial in these cost savings. "The Affordable Care Act is strengthening a very critical Medicare program and helping million[s] of seniors and Americans with disabilities get the care they need," she said. "Thanks to the new discounts, beneficiaries are saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the Medicare Part D coverage gap, known as the donut hole, at the same time as Part D premiums are falling”.
Although this was big news, experts cautioned that much more work needs to be done. Sebelius said that there were still “critical” gaps in coverage especially with prescription drugs. Hopefully this trend of progress will continue and this will make life easier for the elderly everywhere.