88% of New York State Seniors Can Expect Higher 2012 Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan Premiums

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Based on an analysis of the newly released 2012 stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan landscape data, Q1Medicare.com has found that 88% of New York State seniors and Medicare beneficiaries can expect to see an increase in their current monthly stand-alone Medicare Part D premiums unless they switch to a lower costing 2012 plan. A summary of New York’s stand-alone 2012 Medicare prescription drug plans is now online at Q1Medicare.com and also shows that seniors can expect slightly fewer 2012 Medicare prescription drug plan choices. However, New York State beneficiaries will find more 2012 prescription drug plans offering no initial deductibles with lower monthly premiums. Also Medicare beneficiaries receiving financial Extra-Help will find a few additional 2012 prescription drug plan choices qualifying for the full Low-Income Subsidy $0 premium.

New York State Medicare beneficiaries can go directly to our PDP-Facts.com/2012 page to get an overview of the 2012 prescription drug plan landscape.

Based on an analysis of the 2012 Medicare Part D landscape data recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Q1Medicare.com has found that 88% of New York State seniors and Medicare beneficiaries can expect an increase in their current stand-alone 2011 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums - unless they switch to a lower costing 2012 prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan offering prescription drug coverage. However, the average monthly Medicare Part D premium in New York, without taking into account plan enrollment, will actually increase only slightly to $55.45 or only 1% above the 2011 state monthly premium average of $55.06.

Medicare beneficiaries will also find that, although the average monthly 2012 Medicare Part D plan premium will remain stable, the selection of 2012 Medicare Part D plans is slightly reduced from 2011. New York seniors will have 29 stand-alone prescription drug plans to choose from, down four plans from the 33 prescription drug plans currently offered in 2011.

Stand-alone 2012 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan designs will also be changing in New York State. One additional 2012 New York prescription drug plan will now offer a $0 initial deductible 2012 plan with a monthly premium lower than any current 2011 $0 deductible plan. Also, fewer New York 2012 Medicare Part D plans will offer any type of Donut Hole or gap coverage. However, this is not totally unexpected as seniors who enter the 2012 Donut Hole will be automatically saving 50% on brand-name drugs and 14% on generic drugs with their 2012 Donut Hole Discount.

Finally, New York State Medicare beneficiaries receiving financial Extra-Help will find twelve prescription drug plans in 2012 qualifying for the full Low-Income Subsidy $0 premium. Of these twelve plans, two plans are new for 2012 and one plan from 2011 will not be offered in 2012. Therefore, some full low-income subsidy qualifying Medicare beneficiaries may be reassigned to one of the 2012 Medicare Part D plans qualifying for the $0 monthly premium.

“New York State Medicare beneficiaries can go directly to our PDP-Facts.com/2012 page to get an overview of the 2012 prescription drug plan landscape,” notes Dr. Susan Johnson, Technical Director of the Q1Medicare.com site and co-founder of Q1Group LLC. “And since our PDP-Facts are interactive, beneficiaries can click on the links and navigate to see 2012 plan features and changes.”

About the Q1Medicare.com Website
Q1Medicare.com is one of the largest independent online resources for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and Medicare Advantage plan information. Q1Medicare offers a large section of Frequently Asked Questions online tools, and a free Medicare Part D Newsletter all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, health care professionals, advocates, advisers, and insurance agents better understand both the Medicare Part D prescription drug and Medicare Advantage programs. 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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