Many seniors and the disabled enrolled in the Medicare drug program are likely to pay more next year, with the average premium for all stand-alone drug plans rising 8.7% to $40 a month, according to data released late Thursday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "Plans that are popular are raising prices because they understand that seniors are not interested in switching.(carriers)," says Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health, a private research firm that analyzed the Medicare data.
• Most of the plans with the largest enrollment will increase their monthly premiums next year $5 to $10 a month. The average cost this year for all stand-alone drug plans was $36.81.