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Seniors face modest Medicare hike, better benefits

Boston Globe/AP, August 19, 2010

Seniors will see a modest increase in their Medicare prescription premiums next year, but benefits will also improve, federal health officials said yesterday. The average monthly premium charged by Medicare drug plans for standard coverage will rise to an estimated $30 in 2011, an increase of $1 over 2010, or about 3 percent, said Donald Berwick, Medicare administrator. Since Medicare drug plans vary widely in coverage and costs, consumer advocates cautioned that seniors need to check their particular plan to avoid unpleasant surprises that may not be revealed in a such a broad estimate. Nonetheless, seniors with high drug costs can look forward to a noticeable improvement next year.