In past years, we have seen the standard Part D plan parameters increase over 7.5% between years
Saint Augustine, FL (Vocus) July 2, 2010
Q1Medicare.com now has the 2011 Medicare Part D Defined Standard Benefit parameters online along with a comparison of how these parameters have increased from 2006 through 2011. Internet users can view a chart of the annual prescription drug plan coverage changes at: Q1Medicare.com/2011.
Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) release the Medicare Part D Defined Standard Benefit parameters and in 2011 these model parameters will represent a 0.31% increase over current 2010 values. The CMS Defined Standard Benefit parameters include the standard Initial Deductible, as well as the Initial Coverage Limit (ICL) and the Out-of-Pocket Threshold (TrOOP). The ICL and TrOOP together form the boundaries of the Donut Hole or Coverage Gap.
“In past years, we have seen the standard Part D plan parameters increase over 7.5% between years,” notes Dr. Susan Johnson, Technical Director of the Q1Medicare.com website. “However, next year we will only see a slight increase over current 2010 standard values.”
Medicare beneficiaries enrolling in a 2011 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan modeled after the CMS Defined Standard Benefit will find their 2011 initial deductible unchanged at $310. Medicare beneficiaries whose monthly retail drug costs are over $237 will enter the 2011 Donut Hole; that is, when their total negotiated retail drug costs reach $2,840, only $10 more than this year’s Initial Coverage Limit of $2,830. The 2011 Donut Hole exit point or Out-of-Pocket threshold remains unchanged from the current 2010 value of $4,550. Finally, the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) cost threshold and cost limit for qualified retiree prescription drug plans will remain unchanged in 2011 at their current 2010 values of $310 and $6,300 respectively.
Medicare beneficiaries should be reminded that the small changes in the 2011 Medicare Part D Defined Standard Benefit do not mean that their current 2010 Medicare Part D plans will remain the same in 2011. ”Seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries must be prepared to review their prescription drug plan options each year to ensure that they are receiving the most complete and affordable coverage,” adds Dr. Johnson. “Plan formularies and cost-sharing can change significantly from year-to-year.”
Q1Medicare.com also released their updated 2011 PDP-Planner tool (or Donut Hole Calculator) utilizing the 2011 CMS Defined Standard Medicare Part D prescription drug plan benefit parameters. The 2011 PDP-Planner allows users to enter their estimated retail prescription costs, initial deductible and monthly Part D plan premiums to preview their 2011 Medicare Part D expenses. The 2011 PDP-Planner can be found at: PDP-Planner.com/2011.
About the Website Q1Medicare.com
Q1Medicare.com is one of the largest independent online resources for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan information. Q1Medicare.com offers online tools, Frequently Asked Questions, a free monthly Medicare Part D Newsletter and tutorials all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, advocates, advisors, and insurance agents navigate the Medicare prescription drug program. Q1Medicare.com is operated by Q1Group LLC (Saint Augustine, Florida).