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Medicare Drug Plan Premiums to Stay at $30 in Coming Year

Medicare beneficiaries will pay the same premium for prescription drugs next year as they did this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said.

Premiums for drug plans that accompany basic Medicare coverage for the elderly and disabled will be an average of $30 in 2013, the department said today in a statement. The estimate is based on bids from private insurers who offer the plans to Medicare patients.

“Premiums are holding steady, and thanks to the health-care law, millions of people with Medicare are saving an average of over $600 each year on their prescription drugs,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the statement.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act provides a discount on drug prices for people who enter a gap in Medicare’s insurance coverage known as the “doughnut hole.” Medicare’s annual enrollment period for drug plans and private coverage begins Oct. 15.

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