ThirdAge reports that in a recent analysis of Medicare data, Avalere Health says the bottom line is that Medicare plan premiums will increase about ten percent in the top ten drug plans. Selecting plans begins October 1. Seniors are urged to start looking around now so they can make the wisest choice possible. One group of more than three million seniors will lose their plan and be placed into another offered by the same insurer.
UnitedHealthcare, which owns both AARP MedicareRx Saver plan, with over 1.5 million members, and AARP MedicareRX Preferred, with nearly 2.8 million members, will discontinue the Saver plan in 2011. Most of the affected members will be switched to the Preferred plan, with a premium increase of approximately $4 a month. The Preferred plan members are expected to see a comparable decrease in monthly premium.
First Health Part D Premier Plus plan, offered by Coventry Health Care, will have a premium increase from $64 to $91 monthly.
However, Medicare estimates that premium increases will only be about $1 a month, operating on the premise that seniors will opt for less expensive coverage.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the Medicare Advantage plans, comprised of private healthcare insurance carriers, will most likely see premiums decrease slightly for the more than eleven million enrolled seniors. Some companies are closing their plan, affecting 5% of the privately insured group, who will need to select a new provider.
My head is spinning trying to comprehend all this bad news. With everything else senior citizens have to worry about, how will they be able to choose wisely?
ThirdAge News Staff, Medicare plans see double-digit drug price hikes
Susan Heavey, Medicare Advantage plans to see 2011 premium dip