Premiums aren't expected to rise next year for Medicare's prescription-drug benefit.

The Health and Human Services Department said Monday that it expects the average premium to hold steady at $30 per month. It would be the third consecutive year that premiums for the drug benefit haven't changed. 
Flat premiums help highlight the savings that seniors have seen because of President Obama's healthcare law. The law provides a discount for seniors who hit the Medicare "doughnut hole" — the coverage gap in which seniors have to pay for their prescriptions out-of-pocket.

Those discounts have already saved seniors nearly $4 billion, HHS said. Rising premiums might muddle the picture somewhat, but flat premiums mean that the discounts are the only price change seniors will see.

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