Contact Us Online

Social Media Karp Law Blog Twitter Facebook

Medicare D premiums remain level in 2014

8-27-2013 - Medicare Part D premiums will remain level in 2014, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The average premium is expected to be about $31 in 2014, up from $30 for the last three years. The annual deductible is expected to fall from $325 to $310The estimates are based on  bids submitted by drug and health plans for next year. The program is implemented primarily through private drug plans that contract with pharmaceutical companies. 

This year's open enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7. During this period, people 65 and older may select a Medicare Part D Plan. You can get help finding a plan that's suitable for your needs with the government's Medicare tool. 

If you are signing up for Medicare for the first time, you are not required to sign up for Part D. Many who do not take expensive prescription medications do not sign up. However, you should be aware that if you pass on Medicare D and choose to sign up later, you will pay a late enrollment penalty. The penalty increases by 1%  for each month you are not enrolled.

The donut hole for prescription drugs is also shrinking. In 2013, the donut hole was the point at which you and your plan together paid $2,970 on prescriptions until you spent $4,570 out of pocket. The donut hole will shrink in 2014, when the upper end decreases to $4,550. The donut hole is expected to close entirely by 2020.

Although Medicare Part D has its fair share of critics, many experts - including those on the political right - say that it's been a success. In an Aug, 9 article, Forbes magazine describes Medicare Part D as "the most cost-effective and successful entitlement program the federal government runs" that has "subsidized costs of prescription drugs for millions of seniors and Americans with disabilities". More than 6.6. million people with Medicare have saved more than $7 billion on prescription drugs sine the program began.

Back to Elder Law Legal Updates