Medicare Part D premiums continue to decline in 2019

CMS on Tuesday announced that, for the second year in a row, the average basic premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2019 is projected to decline. At a time when health insurance premiums are rising across-the-board, basic Part D premiums are expected to fall from $33.59 this year to $32.50 next year.

CMS on Tuesday announced that, for the second year in a row, the average basic premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2019 is projected to decline. At a time when health insurance premiums are rising across-the-board, basic Part D premiums are expected to fall from $33.59 this year to $32.50 next year. Earlier this year, CMS announced several changes in the Part D program, including reducing the maximum amount that low-income beneficiaries pay for biosimilars. The agency also began allowing certain generic drugs to be substituted onto plan formularies more quickly during the year, so beneficiaries immediately benefit and have lower cost sharing. In an effort to increase competition among pharmacies, CMS clarified the "any willing provider" requirement, to increase the number of pharmacy options that beneficiaries have. CMS anticipates releasing the premiums and costs for Medicare health and drug plans for the 2019 calendar year in mid-to-late September.