U.S. health officials said on Wednesday they expect Medicare patients enrolled in the federal health insurance program's prescription drug benefit to see their premium costs remain flat next year.http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67H5M920100818
The voluntary benefit, know as Part D, pays for medicines for seniors and disabled Medicare patients who have signed up for separate drug insurance plans. The plans cover medicines until they hit the so-called "doughnut hole," a temporary gap in which patients must assume all costs.
In 2011, Medicare Part D beneficiaries will pay $30 a month in premiums on average compared with $29 on average in 2010, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said after weighing company's bids.
If you live on a fixed (and in this economy, shrinking) income, paying $30 a month in 2011 compared with $29 on average in 2010 is an increase. Actually, to anyone familiar with simple math, it's an increase. In fact, it's a 3.5% increase. Only liars, politicians and bureaucrats would describe these as "steady rates" (unless they mean "steadily increasing").