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Older adults will see higher out-of-pocket costs on prescriptions


Shopping season for the Medicare Advantage plans is underway.

In Monroe, Ontario, and Wayne Counties, the average premium for 2016 Medicare Advantage plans is $74 dollars, about a 10 percent increase over last year.

On average in New York State, most monthly premiums are steady, but out of pocket costs for medications are up.

Older adults in New York may find they’re paying less each month for Medicare Advantage.

But the price tag for their share of medication costs will likely be higher. The state average prescription drug deductible is $222, around 40 percent higher than last year.

Jesse Geneson is a data analyst at HealthPocket.com. He says those costs could affect consumer behavior, “It’ll probably mean that more people will avoid taking the drugs that they need, especially expensive specialty drugs.”

A number of plans have no monthly premium, but on average consumers in the state will pay $50 each month, although premium costs vary widely. The average premium in the Albany area is $12 higher than the state average.

“Depending on how much the plan has to spend on their enrollees’ health care cost, then that’s going to help determine what premiums they will pick for their plan in the upcoming year,” he says.

Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage runs from October 15th through December 7th.