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Medicare Part D: A First Look at Prescription Drug Plans in 2019

Table 1: Medicare Part D Stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans, Benchmark Plans, and Monthly Premiums, 2018 and 2019
  Number of PDPs Number of Benchmark PDPs Weighted Average PDP Monthly Premium
State/territory 2018 2019 2018 2019 2018 2019
U.S. Total 782 901 216 215 $40.57 $41.21
Alabama 25 29 6 6 $41.77 $41.10
Alaska 19 22 7 7 $38.66 $38.32
Arizona 23 28 10 10 $41.45 $41.42
Arkansas 23 26 4 4 $32.21 $35.87
California 25 30 5 7 $44.30 $45.63
Colorado 24 26 6 7 $40.28 $40.78
Connecticut 22 26 7 7 $40.43 $41.91
Delaware 21 25 10 9 $39.14 $39.66
District of Columbia 21 25 10 9 $39.14 $39.66
Florida 21 27 2 2 $44.11 $44.76
Georgia 24 26 5 4 $37.69 $38.80
Hawaii 20 24 4 4 $32.91 $33.53
Idaho 25 26 8 8 $41.25 $41.48
Illinois 24 27 8 7 $42.11 $41.20
Indiana 24 26 7 7 $38.24 $39.18
Iowa 23 28 5 6 $35.53 $37.02
Kansas 23 26 4 4 $39.54 $41.15
Kentucky 24 26 7 7 $38.24 $39.18
Louisiana 21 26 6 8 $36.38 $38.51
Maine 24 26 7 7 $41.46 $40.84
Maryland 21 25 10 9 $39.14 $39.66
Massachusetts 22 26 7 7 $40.43 $41.91
Michigan 24 29 9 9 $38.97 $38.71
Minnesota 23 28 5 6 $35.53 $37.02
Mississippi 20 24 6 5 $34.98 $36.54
Missouri 24 26 4 4 $38.79 $40.90
Montana 23 28 5 6 $35.53 $37.02
Nebraska 23 28 5 6 $35.53 $37.02
Nevada 24 26 3 3 $40.42 $38.69
New Hampshire 24 26 7 7 $41.46 $40.84
New Jersey 22 26 7 6 $46.83 $45.79
New Mexico 24 27 7 7 $32.17 $35.34
New York 20 23 8 8 $45.27 $45.77
North Carolina 24 28 7 7 $41.35 $40.98
North Dakota 23 28 5 6 $35.53 $37.02
Ohio 23 26 6 7 $38.29 $40.47
Oklahoma 23 28 7 7 $40.95 $42.82
Oregon 22 26 7 7 $38.74 $38.82
Pennsylvania 26 30 9 9 $40.67 $41.20
Rhode Island 22 26 7 7 $40.43 $41.91
South Carolina 22 26 4 3 $37.09 $39.35
South Dakota 23 28 5 6 $35.53 $37.02
Tennessee 25 29 6 6 $41.77 $41.10
Texas 24 27 7 5 $39.20 $38.65
Utah 25 26 8 8 $41.25 $41.48
Vermont 22 26 7 7 $40.43 $41.91
Virginia 24 27 6 6 $42.17 $42.11
Washington 22 26 7 7 $38.74 $38.82
West Virginia 26 30 9 9 $40.67 $41.20
Wisconsin 25 28 8 8 $42.11 $42.44
Wyoming 23 28 5 6 $35.53 $37.02
Puerto Rico 6 6 $44.06 $42.32
American Samoa 1 1 $5.80 $34.70
Guam 3 2 $34.85 $39.85
Northern Mariana Islands 2 1 $24.80 $37.20
U.S. Virgin Islands 1 1 $41.30 $42.60
NOTE: PDP is prescription drug plan. U.S. total count excludes PDPs in the territories. Totals include sanctioned plans closed to new enrollees as of September of prior year. Average monthly premium is weighted by September 2018 enrollment for the region in which the state is located. Benchmark plan counts include “de minimis” plans, which can retain Low-Income Subsidy beneficiaries despite exceeding the benchmark premium by a minimal amount (up to $2 in 2019). Benchmark plans are not shown for the territories because the LIS is not available to residents of the territories.
SOURCE: KFF analysis of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2018-2019 Part D plan files.
Table 2: Enrollment and Premiums for Top 10 PDPs with the Highest Enrollment, 2018 and 2019
Name of PDP Type of plan September 2018 enrollment (# in millions) Weighted average monthly premium Percent change
# % of total 2018 2019 2018-2019
SilverScript Choice Basic 4.55 22.1% $26.34 $30.73 17%
AARP MedicareRx Preferred Enhanced* 2.46 12.0 $83.56 $74.76 -11
Humana Walmart Enhanced 2.44 11.8 $20.20 $27.67 37
Humana Preferred Basic 1.64 8.0 $31.16 $31.10
AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus Basic 1.39 6.7 $35.49 $34.06 -4
Aetna Medicare Rx Saver Basic 1.18 5.8 $29.61 $29.20 -1
WellCare Classic Basic 0.99 4.8 $30.41 $31.65 4
Humana Enhanced Enhanced 0.76 3.7 $75.83 $75.89
AARP MedicareRx Walgreens Enhanced 0.65 3.1 $26.99 $28.07 4
Aetna Medicare Rx Value Plus Enhanced 0.57 2.8 $57.46 $60.16 5
TOTAL FOR ALL PDPS 20.58 100% $40.57 $41.21 2%
NOTE: PDP is prescription drug plan. Plan names can change from year to year; plans are designated the same if they have the same contract/plan ID. Analysis excludes enrollees in employer group plans. Average premiums are weighted by September 2018 enrollment. “—“ means a premium increase/decrease of less than half of one percentage point. *AARP MedicareRx Preferred is a basic PDP in the territories.
SOURCE: KFF analysis of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2018-2019 Part D plan files.
Table 3: Benefit Designs and Deductibles in Medicare Part D Stand-alone Prescription Drugs Plans, 2018 and 2019
 2018  2019
Share of PDPs offering
Basic benefits 47% 39%
Enhanced benefits 53% 61%
Standard deductible 52% 52%
Lower deductible 11% 19%
No deductible 37% 29%
Weighted average monthly PDP premium
Basic benefits $30.90 $32.35
Enhanced benefits $54.68 $54.13
Standard deductible $29.84 $31.82
Lower deductible $33.34 $33.15
No deductible $55.07 $54.50
NOTE: PDP is prescription drug plan. Average premiums are weighted by September 2018 enrollment.
SOURCE: KFF analysis of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2018-2019 Part D plan files.
Table 4: Median Cost Sharing (Copayments or Coinsurance Rates) for all Medicare Part D Stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans and Top 10 PDPs with the Highest Enrollment, 2018 and 2019
Name of PDP Preferred generics Generics Preferred brands* Non-preferred drugs Specialty drugs
2018 2019 2018 2019 2018 2019 2018 2019 2018 2019
Median for all PDPs $1 $1 $6 $5 $37/21% $40/20% 40% 40% 26% 26%
Top 10 PDPs
SilverScript Choice $3 $3 $14 $13 $42 $42 46% 45% 33% 33%
AARP MedicareRx Preferred $5 $5 $12 $10 $37 $40 40% 40% 33% 33%
Humana Walmart Rx $1 $1 $4 $4 23% 20% 35% 35% 25% 25%
Humana Preferred Rx $0 $0 $1 $1 20% 25% 35% 37% 25% 25%
AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus $1 $1 $3 $6 $33 $25 30% 33% 25% 25%
Aetna Medicare Rx Saver $1 $1 $2 $2 $30 $30 35% 35% 26% 27%
WellCare Classic $0 $0 $1 $2 $35 $37 42% 41% 25% 25%
Humana Enhanced $3 $5 $7 $10 $42 $47 44% 50% 33% 33%
AARP MedicareRx Walgreens $0 $0 $6 $5 $31 $30 32% 32% 25% 25%
Aetna Medicare Rx Value Plus $1 $1 $2 $2 $47 $47 50% 47% 33% 33%
NOTE: PDP is prescription drug plan. Estimates are weighted medians for those plans that vary cost sharing by region (weighted by September 2018 enrollment). *Approximately 77% of September 2018 enrollees are in plans with a preferred brand copay and 23% are in plans with a preferred brand coinsurance.
SOURCE: KFF analysis of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2018-2019 Part D plan files.
Key Findings

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