KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Premiums To Average 11 Percent Rise in 2010

Premiums for Medicare Part D plans will rise an average of 11 percent next year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The cost for all Medicare prescription plans has increased 50 percent nationally since 2006. "Premiums are just one piece of the total cost. More important is the cost of specific drugs that people take. That can vary from plan to plan and can change from one year to the next. So, too, do people's medications. A different plan, for example, may have a lower price for a new prescription. Sifting through all the variables is nearly impossible without a computer. ... A relatively small percentage of people have switched plans, according to a study published last summer in the New England Journal of Medicine. That could indicate that people are happy with their plans. But it also could indicate that shopping for the best plan is just too much trouble" (Boulton, 11/30).

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