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Analysis

Medicare Part D Premium Average Will Be $30.50 a Month in 2021

By John Commins  
   July 30, 2020

For the first time, Part D will cover insulin at a cost of no more than $35 a month per prescription.

The average basic Medicare Part D premium will be $30.50 in 2021, the lowest premiums since 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said late Wednesday.

And for the first time, Part D will include coverage of "a broad set of insulins" that will cost Medicare beneficiaries no more than $35 a month per prescription, CMS said.

Part D premiums have decreased by 12% since 2017, saving beneficiaries nearly $1.9 billion, and Part D enrollment has grown by 16.7% over that span.

"At every turn, the Trump Administration has prioritized policies that introduce choice and competition in Part D,"  CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a media release.

"The result is lower prices for life-saving drugs like insulin, which will be available to Medicare beneficiaries at this fall’s Open Enrollment for no more than $35 a month," she said. "In short, Part D premiums continue to stay at their lowest levels in years even as beneficiaries enjoy a more robust set of options from which to choose a plan that meets their needs."

Verma said the Trump administration efforts to increase competition among Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans has also generated about $8.5 billion in program savings over the past four years, a trend she said is expected to continue into 2021.

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, Medicare beneficiaries who select Part D Senior Savings Model plans will save, on average, $446 per year, or 66%, on their out-of-pocket costs for insulin, CMS said.

Nationwide, beneficiaries will be able to choose from more than 1,600 standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage during the open enrollment period that runs from October 15 through December 7.

Because most Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage do not charge a Part D premium, beneficiaries will save on insulin and not pay any extra premiums, CMS said.

“Part D premiums continue to stay at their lowest levels in years even as beneficiaries enjoy a more robust set of options from which to choose a plan that meets their needs.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Part D premiums have decreased by 12% since 2017, saving beneficiaries nearly $1.9 billion, and Part D enrollment has grown by 16.7% over that span.

Starting Jan. 1, Medicare beneficiaries who select Part D Senior Savings Model plans will save, on average, $446 per year, or 66%, on their out-of-pocket costs for insulin.

CMS says increased competition among Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans has generated $8.5 billion in program savings over four years.


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