Feds announce drop in average Medicare RX premium

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Citing increased use of generic drugs, the effects of competition, and the choices of Medicare enrollees, federal officials announced Thursday that average Medicare prescription drug premiums won’t increase in 2012, reports the News Service of Florida. In a conference call, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services Administrator Donald Berwick said the average monthly premium of $30, based on bids submitted by Part D plans, will be about one dollar lower than last year and 44 percent lower than the premium projected in 2003. Officials also said new data indicates 17 million people with Medicare have received free preventive services this year and 900,000 program enrollees who have hit the so-called prescription drug donut hole have received a 50 percent discount on their prescription drugs.

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