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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Average monthly premium for Medicare drug plans will rise 2nd year in a row to $32

WASHINGTON - Medicare says premiums for prescription drug plans will rise in 2015 for the second year in a row.

Officials said Thursday that Medicare's average monthly drug premium will rise next year to $32.

The modest increase of $1 a month comes amid worries over the future impact of costly new medications. Sovaldi, for example, cures hepatitis C but costs $1,000 a pill.

Most Medicare beneficiaries have prescription drug coverage.

But consumers should pay attention because the average premium says little about what any one person pays.

Premiums change every year, so consumer advocates say beneficiaries should check their plan during open enrolment, from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, and seek better deals if they're not satisfied.

This year, the average premium also went up by $1, after three stable years.

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