Saint Augustine, Florida (PRWEB) July 31, 2014
Q1Medicare.com alerts seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries that they may see a slight increase in costs associated with their 2015 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage.
Based on the recently released 2015 Medicare Part D base premium by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare beneficiaries can expect to pay slightly higher monthly Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums next year.
According to CMS, the 2015 Medicare Part D base beneficiary premium is increasing to $33.13 from the 2014 base premium of $32.42.
Earlier this year, CMS also announced that the standard 2015 Medicare Part D initial deductible will increase slightly to $320 from the current $310. On the positive side, the Donut Hole discount will increase to a 55% discount for brand-name prescriptions and a 35% discount for generic medications purchased while in the Coverage Gap. More on how the Medicare Part D plan parameters have changed over the years can be found at: Q1Medicare.com/2015.
Because of the increase in the 2015 Medicare Part D base beneficiary premium, Medicare beneficiaries who have accrued a late-enrollment penalty will also notice an increase in their 2015 monthly penalty payment.
The late-enrollment premium penalty is assessed to any Medicare beneficiary who is without some form of creditable prescription coverage for more than 63 days and does not qualify for the low-income subsidy. The penalty is calculated as an additional monthly payment of 1% of the annual base Medicare Part D premium accumulated for each month that a person is without creditable prescription coverage.
This means that a person who has been without creditable prescription coverage for five years or 60 months will pay a 2015 penalty of $19.90 per month in addition to their regular monthly Medicare Part D premium. Annual changes in the base premium used to calculate the late-enrollment penalty can be found at: Q1Medicare.com/LEP.
Medicare beneficiaries in higher annual income brackets will also see an increase in their Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) paid in addition to their monthly 2015 plan premiums. For example, the 2015 IRMAA payments for single people with an income between $85,000 and $107,000 or married couples with an income between $170,000 and $214,000 will increase to $12.30 per month, paid in addition to their monthly Medicare Part D premium. A chart showing IRMAA changes over the in past few years can be found at: Q1Medicare.com/IRMAA2015.
As a final note, although the 2015 Medicare Part D base beneficiary premium is increasing slightly, seniors should not expect that their current 2014 Medicare Part D plan premium will stay the same or increase only slightly. Instead, the increase in the 2015 base premium suggests that seniors may need to actively search for a new 2015 Medicare prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan to keep the same level of coverage and premium payment as they now have in 2014.
Details of the 2015 Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans will be available in early-October and Medicare beneficiaries can change their plans during the 2015 annual Open Enrollment Period beginning October 15th and continuing through December 7th with Medicare plan coverage beginning on January 1, 2015.
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 selection of Frequently Asked Questions, online tools, a Medicare Part D Blog, and a free Medicare Part D Newsletter all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, healthcare professionals, advocates, advisers, caregivers, 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).