Premium Increases for Seniors
[By Staff Writers]
Medicare Past D, the prescription drug benefit set forth under the MMA is variable by the plan vendor, with premium rates set on an annual basis.
Cost sharing is subsidized for qualified Medicaid/Medicare crossovers and specified low-income beneficiaries. The MMA allows for the deductible and variable coinsurance coverage levels to increase on an annual basis in subsequent years.
The standard benefit and cost sharing for 2008 is:
· Annual Deductible of $275;
· 25% Coinsurance for covered drugs costs between $276 and $2,510;
· 100% Coinsurance (no plan coverage) of the cost of covered drugs between $2,511 and $5,726.25;
· The Maximum beneficiary annual out of pocket, which determines the upper limit of no plan coverage as stated above is $4,050; and
· 5% coinsurance of the cost of covered drugs above $5,726.25 (or a co-payment of $2.25 for covered generics and $5.60 for covered brand-name drugs-whichever is greater).
Now, in accordance with the Medicare Modernization Act, single beneficiaries and married couples with annual incomes exceeding a specified amount now pay a higher percentage of the cost of Medicare Part B coverage, through the Part B premium.
These higher-income beneficiaries will pay a monthly premium equal to 35, 50, 65, or 80% of the total cost, depending on their income level, by the end of the 3-year transition period that started in 2007.
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