CMS on July 30 released the Medicare Part D payment benchmarks and other bid-related information for the 2020 plan year, indicating that both the average monthly premium for basic Part D coverage and the base beneficiary premium will drop for the third consecutive year. The lowering of premiums is driven by changes in the reinsurance amount, which funds 80% of all Part D costs for beneficiary expenses above the catastrophic threshold and is seeing more modest growth after years of double-digit percentage increases, observes Shelly Brandel, a principal and consulting actuary in the Milwaukee office of Milliman, Inc. Brandel estimates the figure will be $80.80 for 2020, up slightly from $78.88 in 2019.
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