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2013 Medicare D premiums steady; Open enrollment earlier

8-17-2012 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services has announced that the average premium for Medicare Part D coverage will remain unchanged in 2013, at around $30.00 per month. The estimate is based on bids from private insurers who offer the drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries. The average premium in 2012 was $29.67; in 2011, $30.76. This is the third consecutive year that the basic premium for the drug benefits has not increased.

Medicare beneficiaries in 2013 will receive a 50% discount on brand-name drugs, and a 14% discount on generic drugs,when they reach the "doughnut hole." Under the Affordable Care Act, the so-called doughnut hole will be closed entirely by 2020.

Also, open enrollment occurs earlier this year. Open enrollment begins on October 15, and ends on Dec. 7. During this period, Medicare enrollees will have the opportunity to analyze their Medicare insurance plans and make changes if they wish. Their choices go into effect on January 1, 2013.

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