Choosing a Medicare drug plan (Medicare Part D) requires evaluating more factors than just the cost of the monthly premium.Read more
How Much Will the Proposed Medicare Drug Benefit Save You?
- November 20th, 2003
The Kaiser Family Foundation has released an updated Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Calculator that can help recipients gauge how much the new Medicare legislation currently being considered by Congress would assist them in paying for prescription drugs.
Under the proposal, beneficiaries would pay an average premium of $35 a month ($420 a year) for the coverage, which would include an upfront deductible of $275 and 25 percent cost sharing between $275 and $2,200 in drug expenses. There is no coverage after $2,200 until the beneficiary reaches $3,600 in out of pocket costs, at which point the beneficiary would begin paying only 5 percent of drug costs.
Kaiser notes that the average senior will have an estimated $3,160 in total drug expenses in 2006, when the new benefit would take effect. According to the calculator, an individual with this level of expenses would save about $1,000 under the program. But a beneficiary with $800 in annual drug bills would actually pay more under the new benefit when the price of the coverage is factored in.
Kaiser's calculator can be found at: www.kaisernetwork.org/static/kncalc.cfm
The Kaiser Foundation also has a number of other resources that may be useful in following the Medicare prescription drug benefit debate, available at www.kff.org/medicare.
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