Q1Medicare.com Brings 2011 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Information Online

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Q1Medicare.com brings the newly released 2011 stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan information online with Part D plans summarized on both national and state levels. In 2011, Medicare beneficiaries can expect to see increased premiums and a reduction in the number of available Part D plans. However, even with fewer 2011 Part D plan choices, more of the available Medicare Part D plans will offer some form of Donut Hole coverage. In addition, financial Extra-Help recipients in many states can expect more prescription drug plans qualifying for the $0 premium full Low-Income Subsidy.

We have updated our Q1Medicare.com site so our online community can quickly get an overview of the 2011 stand-alone Medicare Part D plan landscape

The Q1Medicare.com website now offers Medicare beneficiaries, advocates, and other site users an insight into the 2011 stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Based on the 2011 Medicare Part D landscape data recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Q1Medicare.com has developed national and state-by-state interactive Medicare Part D plan summaries.

“We have updated our Q1Medicare.com site so our online community can quickly get an overview of the 2011 stand-alone Medicare Part D plan landscape,” notes Dr. Susan Johnson technical director of the Q1Medicare.com website. “We also offer the 2011 Medicare Part D plan information in ‘plain text’ format for our site users who would rather read a written summary of the 2011 state-wide Medicare Part D prescription drug plan changes.

According to the 2011 CMS Medicare Part D plan data, the average national monthly Medicare prescription drug plan premium will increase to $54, or 15% above the 2010 national monthly premium average of almost $47. Actual average monthly premium increases vary by state or region. As an example, the average 2011 Medicare Part D premium for residents of Pennsylvania is $56, a 21% increase over the 2010 average Part D plan premium of $47.

Across the country, monthly stand-alone Medicare Part D premiums will range from a low of $14.80 (Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan (PDP)) to a high of $133.40 (BlueRx Enhanced (PDP)). In 2010, monthly premium ranged from a low of $8.80 to a high of $120.20.

Another important change to the Medicare Part D program is that Medicare beneficiaries will have fewer 2011 stand-alone prescription drug plan choices. Although most states will still offer a generous selection of 2011 Medicare Part D plans, the average number of 2011 Part D plans per state fell to 30 plans from an average of 46 plans per state in 2010. As a specific example, resident of Ohio will have a choice of 31 Medicare Part D plans in 2011 as compared to the 46 prescription drug plans offered in 2010.

Medicare beneficiaries will also notice other important changes in 2011 Medicare Part D plan designs. In 2011, the majority of Part D plans will have an initial deductible instead of the popular $0 initial deductible. In addition, more 2011 Medicare Part D plans will offer some form of gap or Donut Hole coverage to complement the 50% discount program for brand name drugs purchased in the 2011 Donut Hole.

2011 will also bring changes to the number of stand-alone Medicare Part D plans qualifying for the $0 premium full Low-Income Subsidy (or LIS). Overall, low-income Medicare beneficiaries in most states will find more Medicare Part D plans qualifying for the $0 premium. The state with the largest number of LIS qualifying plan is Arkansas with 16 Medicare Part D plans, up from 14 plans in 2010. However, other states will see a decrease in qualifying plans. California for instance, will find the number of 2011 prescription drug plans qualifying for the $0 premium full LIS subsidy decreasing from the six 2010 qualifying plans to five 2011 qualifying prescription drug plans.

The newly released 2011 stand-alone Medicare Part D data can be found directly at PDP-Facts.com/2011 and joins the other online tools, Frequently Asked Questions, and tutorials designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, advocates, and insurance agents understand the coverage provided by Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage plans (MAs and MA-PDs).

About the Website Q1Medicare.com
Q1Medicare.com is one of the largest independent online resources for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and Medicare Advantage plan information. Q1Medicare.com is operated by Q1Group LLC (Saint Augustine, Florida).

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Lynnea Christner

Susan Johnson MS-MIS, MBA, PhD
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