Report: Premium hikes for top Medicare drug plans

by Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar

(AP)—A study says seniors in seven of the 10 most popular Medicare prescription drug plans will be hit with double-digit premium hikes next year if they don't shop for a better deal.

The report by Avalere Health is a against the Obama's administration's upbeat pronouncements. Back in August, officials had announced that the average premium for basic would stay the same in 2013, at $30 a month.

That number is accurate as an overall market indicator, but not very helpful to individual consumers since it doesn't reflect price swings in the real world.

The report, issued Monday, found premium increases for all top 10 prescription drug plans, known as PDPs.

Officials said seniors can avoid the hit by shopping around for available low-premium plans.

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