The average monthly premium for a basic Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2017 will remain relatively stable at an estimated $34 per month – or approximately $1.50 higher than the average premium in 2016 – the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced today. The projection is based on bids submitted by drug and health plans for basic drug coverage for the 2017 benefit year. Despite the relatively small increase in premiums, CMS expressed its ongoing concerns about the overall increase in the cost of prescription drugs and cited evidence that total Medicare Part D expenditures are growing faster than Medicare Parts A and B expenditures. To view the Part D base beneficiary premium, regional low-income premium subsidies, Medicare Advantage regional benchmarks and other data, visit www.cms.gov.