The CMS said 1.4 million beneficiaries have enrolled in Medicare Part D plans since the end of the first enrollment period in June 2006, bringing total enrollment in the drug benefit to about 24 million, or more than 90% of those eligible. Of Medicares 43 million beneficiaries, about 39 million now have comprehensive prescription drug coverage in some form, including about 7 million who receive drug coverage through employer- or union-sponsored retirement plans, the CMS said. Part D premiums will average $22 a month in 2007, compared with $23 a month in 2006, and beneficiaries are expected to save an average of $1,200 per year under the benefit, CMS Acting Administrator Leslie Norwalk said. Norwalk also said that Medicare Advantage enrollment increased by more than 900,000 during the last enrollment period, bringing total Medicare Advantage enrollment to 8.3 million. -- by Jennifer Lubell
Medicare Part D enrollment climbs
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