Medicare beneficiaries have fewer prescription drug options than in the past, but they're going to pay significantly more for drug plans offered through Medicare Part D.

Over the past decade, the average number of Medicare Part D plans available to seniors has declined dramatically, from a high of 55 in 2007 to a mere 26 next year, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The availability of course differs by region. While seniors in sparsely-populated Alaska enjoy an average of only 19 Part D plans, many populous states in country have an average of 28 available plans, including California, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Virginia.

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