Why are Medicare Part D Premiums Continuing to Decrease?

Monthly Research / Education Article

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) states the average Medicare Part D premium for prescription drug plans is projected to decline.

According to Administrator Seema Verma,”CMS has been taking action to lower the cost of prescription drugs, and we are seeing the results of our actions.”  Further, “Part D plans are having to prove their value to beneficiaries. The actions that CMS has taken to strengthen the Medicare prescription drug program are working to drive down costs for seniors.”

  • In the past 3 years, Part D premiums have decreased by 13.5 percent since 2016, saving patients about $1.9 billion.
  • In 2017, the average Part D premium was $34.70, and it is projected that the premium will decline to $30 or about 13.5% for 2020.
  • If these declines continue as stated above, this could save taxpayers $6 billion.
  • Enrollment in Part D plans has dramatically increased by 12.2% in the last two years alone.
  • Price transparency and a stronger ability to negotiate have also been an important part of increasing the plan’s popularity.  
  • From 2006 to 2017, Medicare’s share of the United States’ retail prescription drug spending has increased from 18% to 30%, respectively.

CMS is focused on costs for drugs and healthcare spending in general, and they would like to see the same kind of results as they have seen with the lower policy premiums.

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