No COLA for 2010 Part D Premiums Rising


by Mary Jane Stern

It has been reported there will be no COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for 2010 and you would hope there would moneymanagementjpgno increases in other areas of Medicare premiums for your healthcare.  But, in a press release from CMS, August 14, 2009, premiums for Part D will rise in 2010.

What does this mean?

According to the CMS press release, the average premium for Part D is $30 per month for 2010, up $2 from the average in 2009.  But for 2009, CMS said the premiums on average were $28, a $3 increase.  Last year our plan raised the premium for 2009 over $20 per month and increased the co-pays by over $20.  As they say, “seeing-is-believing” and I won’t be satisfied until the new plans for 2010 come out and I can compare and review our options.

Part D Changes for 2010:

Initial Coverage:           $2,830

Deductible $3l0

Out of Pocket:          $4,550

CMS won’t have any of the actual figures out until September, but according to a US World  and News Report, Medicare Advantage Plan premiums may rise by $40- $70 per month.  One of the reasons for the increase is that Medicare is reducing the subsidy amounts they pay to the private plans.  So if you are asking yourself “am I paying for this reduction with increased premiums, you are probably 100% correct.

Other information CMS will make available are plans that will not be renewing their contracts.

Of interest to seniors who receive the low-income subsidy:  You might have to move to a new plan because the plan’s premium might be higher than the 2010 subsidy amount  your Part D Provider receives.  CMS will be notifying anyone involved in this situation

With no COLA, but increases in Part D and probably Advantage plan premiums, it is important, and I can’t stress this enough, to compare your plan(s) for 2010.

Remember The Dates:

October 1 – This starts the “Marketing Season” for the insurance companies.  You will have an opportunity to review your options.  Start as soon as you can to find a new plan(s) and compare the pricing.  But please remember that you cannot enroll in a new plan until November 15, 2009.

November 15 – December 31 – “Open Enrollment Season.”  This is the time you can enroll and change plans.  Do it early, otherwise if you wait until the end of December you could be out of luck and will have to wait until 2011 to make the switch.

January 1, 2010 – Your new plan is effective.


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