Most low-income seniors can stay in same drug plans next year

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Most low-income seniors will not have to change prescription drug plans next year, government officials say.

Seven of eight Part D recipients who receive low-income subsidies will stay in their current plan with no premium in 2007, said Mark McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week. Dual eligibles –- those who receive both Medicare and Medicaid benefits – are part of this group of beneficiaries who receive low-income subsidies. The majority of the nation's nursing home residents are dual eligibles.

CMS also said beneficiaries and the federal government will pay less for Medicare drug coverage next year. The reason? Plans made lower bids for 2007. The average monthly Part D premium nationwide in 2007 for drug will be $24 -- the same amount the average enrollee is paying this year.

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