In its annual release of the Medicare Part D bid information for the coming plan year, CMS on July 31 projected that the average total monthly Part D premium will decrease from $56.49 in 2023 to $55.50 in 2024, thanks in large part to the basic part of the premium being held down by a stabilization provision in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). But unlike previous years, where the national average monthly bid amount (i.e., the weighted average of the estimated cost to Part D plan sponsors of providing their benefit package) steadily dropped, CMS reported that the bid amount will rise from $34.71 for 2023 to $64.28 in 2024. That’s largely because of IRA-mandated changes and CMS’s recent rulemaking on pharmacy price concessions.
Starting in 2024, the IRA limits the annual increase in the base beneficiary premium to no more than 6%. The base beneficiary premium, which is the starting point for calculating a plan-specific basic Part D premium, is projected to rise by 5.9% to $34.70 in 2024.