CMS proposes to reduce premiums for low-income Medicare patients

January 9, 2008

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposes a rule to reduce premiums for low-income subsidized patients.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a new rule that would allow Medicare Part D prescription drug plans to offer a reduced premium for low-income subsidized (LIS) beneficiaries. According to the rule, CMS hopes to ensure that at least five PDPs in every region would have plans with a premium at or below the premium subsidy amount, including some zero-premium plans in each region. If successful, the rule would reduce the number of LIS beneficiary reassignments CMS must make every year. In 2007 CMS reassigned more than 1 million beneficiaries. The rule would allow exceptions to the Part D requirement for uniformity of premiums for plans. CMS anticipates that the new rule would save $20 million per year. CMS is accepting