A group that represents health insurance agents and brokers says the new Medicare prescription drug program seems to be a good value for older consumers.[@@]

More than 90% of Medicare beneficiaries should be able to buy drug coverage for less than $15 per month, and 42% should be able to get coverage for less than $10 per month, according to the National Association of Health Underwriters, Arlington, Va.

Monthly premiums for stand-alone drug plans will range from $1.87 in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, up to $20.05 in Alaska, according to NAHU.

The new drug program could cut annual, prescription-related out-of-pocket costs 44% for a Medicare beneficiary with an average income and typical prescription costs, NAHU says.