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 senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and other public programs. Her previous experience includes leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients, and working for the governor of Louisiana. Ally enjoys travel, trying new restaurants and spending time with Buddy, her 9-year-old rescue Pomeranian. In the fall, she and her husband are almost always wearing Saints gear.