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

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Agency didn’t expect such big demand for needle clean-up kits

The Snohomish Health District ran out of supplies quickly, but more are arriving daily.

EvCC teachers take their contract concerns to the board

Their union says negotiations have been disappointingly slow. The community college isn’t commenting.

Here’s what to do if you want to vote and aren’t registered

Oct. 30 is the deadline for new-voter registration in time for the November election.

Two teens struck by truck in Lynnwood

The teens, between the ages of 14 and 16, were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Luring attempt reported in Mountlake Terrace

The driver allegedly instructed a boy to get in the truck and help grab a scooter he was giving away.

Injured hiker rescued near Granite Falls

Woman fell and hit her head on a rock Saturday, and her condition worsened overnight.

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Most Read