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CMS Releases 2022 Projected Medicare Part D Average Premium

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that the average basic monthly premium for standard Medicare Part D coverage is projected to be approximately $33 in 2022. CMS releases the projected average basic monthly premium annually—calculated based on plan bids submitted to CMS—to help beneficiaries understand overall premium trends before open enrollment, when they can select from plan options for the upcoming benefit year.

The average 2022 basic Part D premium is projected to increase by 4.9% from $31.47 in 2021. The projected average basic premium is calculated based on plans’ expectations of per capita drug spending in the coming year. CMS anticipates releasing the final 2022 premium and cost-sharing information for 2022 Medicare Advantage and Part D plans in mid- to late-September 2021.

The Medicare Part D program helps people with Medicare pay for both brand-name and generic prescription drugs. Part D remains one of Medicare’s most popular programs, with more than 48 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled for prescription drug coverage. CMS continues to analyze changes to the Part D program carefully, and engages with stakeholders to identify opportunities for improvements, particularly for reducing costs. Driving down prescription drug costs remains a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. Earlier this month, President Biden signed an executive order to increase competition, reduce drug costs, and reduce price gouging.

As part of today’s announcement, CMS is also releasing other information—such as the Part D national average monthly bid amount—to help Part D plan sponsors finalize their premiums and prepare for Medicare open enrollment. Medicare open enrollment for coverage beginning January 1, 2022 will run from October 15 to December 7, 2021.

For more information on the Part D national average monthly bid amount, the Part D regional low-income premium subsidy amounts, the de minimis amount, the Medicare Advantage employer group waiver plan regional payment rates, and the Medicare Advantage regional preferred provider organization benchmarks, visit: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Health-Plans/MedicareAdvtgSpecRateStats/Ratebooks-and-Supporting-Data.html.

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