2019 Medicare Part D Changes:
Starting January 1st, 2019:
- For stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans, average basic premiums are dropping to a projected average premium of $32.50/month, down from $33.59/month.*
*It’s important to understand that the average basic premium is less than the average enhanced plan premium, so overall average Part D premiums are higher than the average basic premiums.
- There’s also a significant increase in the number of Part D plans available in 2019, but Kaiser Family Foundation notes that is likely due to the fact that CMS eliminated the meaningful difference requirement for Part D plans, allowing a single insurer to offer more plans than they’ve had in the past.
- The good news is that the Affordable Care Act has been gradually closing the donut hole in Medicare Part D. In 2019, enrollees pay just 37 percent of the plan’s cost for generic drugs while in the donut hole. And the donut hole is closing one year early — in 2019, instead of 2020 — for brand-name drugs, which will cost the enrollee just 25 percent of the plan’s cost in 2019 (down from 100 percent before the ACA started to close the donut hole).
- The maximum allowable deductible for standard Part D plans increased from $405 to $415.
Quick Guide to Medicare Part D – The Drug Plan
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