Medicare Costs Are Rising — Here’s Where You Are Most At Risk

Medicare Costs Are Rising — Here’s Where You Are Most At Risk

Healthcare costs are taking some of the steepest jumps in years. Here are three of the biggest problem areas:

Drug plan premiums: More than 15 million people enrolled in Medicare’s stand alone Part D prescription drug plans face premium increases averaging 13% for 2016. That’s a big jump in any year, but people enrolled in Medicare’s most popular drug plans will pay far more with premiums increasing up to 26%. The following chart illustrates five of the biggest plans with the steepest premium increases:

2016 Prescription Drug Plan 2015 Average Premium 2016 Average Premium % of Change (2015 – 2016)
AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus (PDP) $28.00 $35.23 26%
Humana Enhanced (PDP) $52.81 $66.25 25%
AARP MedicareRxPreferred (PDP) $50.18 $60.79 21%
Humana Walmart Rx Plan (PDP) $15.67 $18.40 17%
Cigna-HealthSpring Rx Secure (PDP) $31.33 $36.39 16%

Excessive drug cost increases: Generics don’t necessarily mean lower drug costs for all. The price of more than 3,500 drugs doubled from 2008 to 2015 and 400 went up more than 1,000%. This trend is increasing the amount people will pay in copayments next year, and also causes many beneficiaries to hit the Part D doughnut hole more quickly than ever before.

Unexpected charges from out-of-network providers. People who get common treatments from doctors and facilities that are participating in their Medicare Advantage plans routinely receive bills that are anywhere from 118%, to an astounding 1,382% higher than what the federal Medicare system is billed for the same services. People enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan should check with the health plan to make sure they get referred to in-network doctors and other providers before getting healthcare services.



“Pressures Mounting For Medicare Drug Benefit,” Avalere Health, September 30, 2015. “Why Drug Prices Remain Insanely High And 6 Things You Can Do To Save,” Elizabeth O’Brien, Market Watch, September 15, 2015. “New Report finds Patients Facing Exorbitant Charges For Out-of-Network Services,” America’s Health Insurance Plans, September 30, 2015.