Gov’t: Medicare drug premiums inching up for 2014

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says the average monthly premium for Medicare prescription drug plans will inch up by $1 next year, to $31.

The increase comes after three stable years in which the average premium hovered around $30 a month.

Medicare officials say the modest increase means competition among insurers is holding down costs, even as benefits have improved for seniors with high prescription bills.

But consumers take note: the average isn’t the full story. For example, last year seven of the top 10 plans raised their 2013 premiums by double-digit percentages. By shopping around, seniors helped keep the average premium paid from going up.

Consumer advocates say beneficiaries should check their plan during open enrollment, from October 15 to December 7, and look for better deals if they’re not satisfied.

More in Local News

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

Man, 60, in critical condition after Bothell crash

Police believe the driver may have been speeding when he hit a rock wall.

FBI operation arrests 3 linked to exploitation of 32 women

The sting focused on Everett and other cities in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties.

Man arrested in Monroe Walmart robbery; second suspect flees

The pair fled in a stolen Mitsubishi Lancer with a distinctive green spray paint job.

Fugitive convict, missing more than a year, surrenders

Charles Coggins, 60, turned himself in Monday. He could now spend up to 30 days behind bars.

Former homeless camp needs needles and garbage cleaned up

The Hand Up Project will lead a volunteer effort this weekend on wooded land south of Everett.

County Council postpones vote on conservation programs

A decision on funding agricultural and water-quality programs will come after the budget process.

Front Porch

EVENTS Seahawks event postponed A Toys for Tots Blue Friday fundraiser that… Continue reading

Slain boy’s uncle charged with his murder

Andrew Henckel allegedly told sheriff’s detectives he drowned Dayvid Pakko, 6.

Most Read