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We’re No. 1? Idaho seniors to pay highest Medicare Rx premiums

Idahoans will pay the highest average premium in the U.S. next year for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan for seniors.

Next year’s premiums will average $65.52 for plans in Idaho and Utah, a combined market for Medicare Part D.

The outsized premiums were spotted by the health insurance comparison website Health Pocket, which analyzed publicly available information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

The national average premium will be $52.36 next year, according to Health Pocket.

Idaho seniors might envy the mid-Atlantic states, which will pay an average of $40.98 a month for their Medicare prescription plans.

And while the national average is falling next year, Idaho’s is rising. This year’s average premium in Idaho was $62.20, according to Medicare.

Idaho’s plans will have an average $231.80 deductible, which is one of the lower deductibles in the country. So, Idaho seniors will pay more every month but their benefits will kick in sooner than in other states.

Kev Coleman is not sure why Idaho’s and Utah’s rates are so far above average.

“It’s not immediately clear, because there seems to be decent prescription drug plan competition,” said Coleman, head of research and data at Health Pocket.

He theorized that high-cost drugs may be driving Idaho’s premiums higher.

“Generally, there has been a great deal of pressure on prescription drug expenditures due to the rise of specialty drugs,” he said.

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