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Medicare prescription premiums won't rise in 2012

Medicare prescription premiums will hold the same costs next year, which will be about $30 a month. Some seniors will see an increase in Meidcare prescription premiums, but some may see a drop, especially if they shop around during open enrollment this fall.


Rep. John Dingell (D) of Michigan, right, and others attend an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 27, 2011, to mark the 46th anniversary of Medicare. Medicare prescription premiums costs will continue to cost the typical senior about $30 a month next year.

Harry Hamburg / AP / File

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The Obama administration had good news for seniors Thursday: The average monthly premium for Medicare's popular prescription program won't go up next year.

Many seniors may even see a dip in their costs, particularly if they shop around during open enrollment season this fall.

Officials credited growing use of generics and competition within the program, which is delivered through private insurance companies. Medicare also expects to share in a coming bonanza as a number of top-selling brand name drugs get generic competition in the next year or so.

The Health and Human Services department projects the average premium for 2012 will be about $30 a month, hardly changed from $30.76 this year.

Since the 2012 estimate is an average, it does not reflect premiums for every individual. Some seniors may see an increase. But they will have options. Plenty of bargains should be available during open enrollment season.


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