The Medicare Part D prescription drug plan bidding process should help hold down drug coverage costs in 2013, officials say.
The national average monthly bid amount will fall to $79.64 in 2013, from 5.8% $84.50 this year, according to Paul Spitalnic, an official at the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
CMS officials calculate the monthly amount using standardized bid amounts for stand-alone Part D prescription drug coverage and for Medicare Advantage managed care plan drug coverage.
Another key Part D figure, the Part D base beneficiary premium, will rise slightly, to $31.17, from $31.08, Spitalnic says.
The base beneficiary premium is a measure of the amount consumers are likely to pay for coverage.
CMS also announced the amounts higher-income consumers who get Part D coverage will have taken out of their Social Security checks each month.
Congress created the "monthly adjustment amounts" by adding Section 3308 to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), to reduce the federal Part D drug coverage subsidy for individuals with annual incomes over $85,000 and couples with annual incomes over $170,000.
For individuals with incomes from $85,000 to $107,000, the monthly adjustment will increase to $48.30, from $48.10; for individuals with incomes over $214,000, the adjustment will increase to $66.60, from $66.40.