Media Discusses Medicare Part D Premium Rise

Armen Hareyan's picture

Disabled Americans are saying that it is becoming harder for them to afford Medicare health insurance as the premiums for Medicare drug coverage will rise an average 24 percent for elderly and disabled Americans. Medicare has listed the costs for drug plans in 2009 on its website. As the cost of the Medicare health insurance for the drug coverage worries many Americans the media is actively discussing the issue.

AP has a story titled Medicare officials advise seniors to shop around. If the Medicare officials advise seniors to shop around where should the senior and disabled Americans go? "Federal health officials encouraged Medicare participants on Thursday to shop around for their prescription drug coverage next year because it could include significant price increases or changes regarding which drugs the plans will cover.

"Overall, the landscape for prescription drug coverage won't look dramatically different next year. The typical beneficiary will still have dozens upon dozens of plans to choose from, but most people will see an increase in their monthly premiums if they stay with the same insurer."


WSJ writes that the average rise for the 10 most-popular plans will be increasing 31%, according to an analysis of new government data.

"The average premium will increase 24% to $37 a month for all standalone drug plans, up from $30 this year, according to Avalere Health LLC, a Washington, D.C., consulting company that analyzed data from Medicare, the federal health-insurance program for seniors.

"The average monthly premium for Humana Inc.'s basic plan, for example, will rise to $40.83 in 2009 from $25.52 this year and $9.51 in 2006, the cheapest plan that year. The plan is the second largest by enrollment, with 1.5 million participants, and overall, Humana has 3.4 million people enrolled in Medicare drug plans. Monthly premiums can vary from county to county.

"The nation's most popular plan with 2.7 million participants, UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s AARP "preferred" plan, will raise its average monthly premium to $37, 15.5% more from 2008. Overall, UnitedHealth plans have 5.4 million enrollees."

"If there's one group of Americans who don't carry their weight and need to pay more money to the healthcare industry, it's those layabout senior citizens! That's why their Medicare drug premiums are increasing by an average of 31% for the 10 most popular plans beginning in 2009. If you were with Humana, formerly the cheapest Medicare drug plan you could get (its premium was $9.51 in 2006), you can expect to pay $40.83 per month in 2009, an increase of 60% over this year's rate. As you would expect, Humana is no longer the cheapest option—so it may be time to shop around for a new plan," writes The Consumerist.