By: | Oct-9-14

Medicare’s upcoming annual Open Enrollment Period runs from Wednesday, October 15 to Sunday, December 7. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study, finding the right Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or private insurer’s Medicare Advantage health plan (Part C) is essential. The study found that 46 percent of people who switched their Medicare plans during open enrollment saved at least five percent the next year.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the average premiums for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans will rise in 2015, but only slightly. The average Part D premium will go up by an average of $1 a month, to $32, and the average monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan is due to increase nearly $3.00, to $33.90. Some Part D and Medicare Advantage plans will see premiums jump more than that. However, CMS predicts that about 61 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees won’t see any increase in 2015.

In addition, CMS states that as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the prescription drug donut hole— the coverage gap for medications—will shrink in 2015. Consumers will pay 45 percent of the cost of brand-name drugs, down from 47.5 percent in 2014, and 65 percent of generics, down from 72 percent.

For more information, visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website.