Medicare Part D continues to be a success for beneficiaries.
A new report released last week by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), noted that Part D spending in 2013 was nearly 50 percent less than expected when the program began. In 2013, Part D spending was $50 billion compared to the projected $99 billion. Not only was spending in 2013 less than anticipated, but the CBO also continues to reduce its 10-year baseline forecasts for Part D spending. For 2014 alone, it has been reduced by $56 billion. The report also noted “the competitive structure of Part D gives plan sponsors significant incentives to hold down spending.”
Following the CBO report, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced estimated 2015 premiums for the Part D program would remain stable. Despite naysayers, it is estimated that the average premium for Medicare Part D plans will be $32 per month in 2015, a mere $1 increase for the 39 million patients covered. Low average monthly premiums make it possible for Part D to continue providing patients with affordable access to their medicines.
Beneficiary satisfaction with Medicare Part D remains high and the program continues to be a model for success, emphasizing the value of access to medicines in patient’s lives.
Allyson Funk Ally is a former senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focused on advocacy issues for the biopharmaceutical industry. Her expertise includes Medicare, Medicaid, 340B, health reform and more. Prior to PhRMA, her experience includes leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients and working for the governor of Louisiana.