Medicare prescription premiums unchanged for 2012

(AP) -- The Obama administration says it has good news for seniors: The average monthly premium for Medicare's popular prescription plan won't go up next year.

Medicare will share in the bonanza as a number of top-selling brand name drugs get generic competition.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday that the average premium for prescription coverage will be about $30 a month in 2012, hardly changed from $30.76 this year.

Since that's an average, some seniors may see an increase. But plenty of bargains should be available if they shop around during open enrollment season this fall.

Sebelius also said 900,000 beneficiaries with high drug costs got a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs this year, a benefit of President Barack Obama's .

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