Monthly premiums for Medicare Part D prescription coverage will be about the same in 2007 as they are this year.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says in an announcement of the next open enrollment period, which starts Nov. 15, that monthly premiums will continue to average about $24 per month.

The average number of drugs included on a plan formulary, or covered drug list, will increase about 13%, and almost all carriers that were in the Part D market this year will be returning in 2007, CMS officials estimate.

Monthly prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage managed care plans and administered fee-for-service plans will be about $6 lower in 2007 than they were this year, CMS officials estimate.