According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the average monthly premium for a basic prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D will be just $1 higher next year. Monthly premiums have held steady during the past three years at about $30 but will be $31 in 2014. Also, the Part D deductible will fall from $325 to $310 next year.

The Associated Press reports that Medicare beneficiaries get some of the credit for keeping the average low by shopping around. Because many seniors chose plans with lower premiums, the average increase stayed low. “Consumer advocates say beneficiaries should check their plan during open enrollment, from October 15 to December 7, and look for better deals if they’re not satisfied,” the AP story says.

Because of the competitive marketplace for Medicare drug plans, seniors are benefiting from improved benefits and low premiums.