The Medicare Part D prescription drug plan seems to be doing a good job of helping enrollees.

Analysts at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Washington, make that observation in a comment on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recent Part D program 2012 bidding results announcement.

Competition among would-be plan providers was strong, and the average monthly Medicare drug plan premium will fall to about $30 in 2012, from an average of $30.76 this year, the analysts say.

The projected 2012 premium is 44% lower than experts were projecting in 2003, when President Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, the analysts say.

Since 2007, the second year the Part D program was up and running, average monthly premiums have increased about $8, the analysts say.

Researchers have concluded in a peer-reviewed study that program coverage is associated with a $1,200 annual savings on acute care and long term care costs for older U.S. residents who previously lacked prescription coverage, the analysts say.

- Allison Bell

Other Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health: