The premiums paid by Part D enrollees cover about 25% of the cost of basic Part D coverage, according to CMS. Enrollees who have limited incomes can qualify for a low-income subsidy that typically would cover some or all of the beneficiary's premium, deductible, copayments, and the cost of drugs in the coverage gap.
Currently, more than 10 million beneficiaries are receiving this low-income subsidy. In 2011, the average value of the subsidy amount—when applied to the Part D benefit, premium, and cost-sharing for those enrollees—is estimated to be about $4,000.
In addition to national average premiums for 2011, CMS also announced the 2011 national average monthly bid, the base beneficiary premium, the regional low-income subsidy premium amounts for 2011, and the 2011 Medicare Advantage regional preferred provider organization benchmarks. The national and regional rate information is available at the CMS website. General information about plan offerings will be released in September.