The 10-year cost projection (2006-2015) for the new Medicare drug benefit was reduced from $737 billion to $678 billion, said Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
McClellan announced the projection reduction at a February 2 hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. He said price competition between plans have lowered the program's costs more than expected, and those savings are being passed along to enrolled Medicare patients. Premiums are now expected to average $25 per month—down from the $37 per month projected in last July's budget estimate.
Mitka M. Pick an Estimate. JAMA. 2006;295(10):1112. doi:10.1001/jama.295.10.1112-c