Affordable Care Act Has Saved $3.9 Billion on Prescription Drugs for Those on Medicare, CMS Announces

Affordable Care Act Has Saved $3.9 Billion on Prescription Drugs for Those on Medicare, CMS AnnouncesThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a news release announcing that, because of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”), President Obama’s signature Health Care Law, seniors and people with disabilities who are on Medicare have saved a total of $3.9 Billion in prescription drug costs since the law was enacted.

These savings have been realized by over 5.2 million seniors and people with disabilities who are on Medicare.

In addition, CMS released data showing that in the first half of 2012 alone, over 1 million people with Medicare saved a total of $687 million on prescription drugs in the so-called “donut hole” coverage gap, for an average of $629 in savings per person so far this year.

According to the CMS News Release, which was issued on July 25, 2012, “These savings are automatically applied to prescription drugs that people with Medicare purchase, after they hit the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap or ‘donut hole’.”

CMS notes that, among the savings on prescription drugs  provided by the Affordable Care Act, are the following:

  • “In 2010, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole received a one-time $250 rebate.  These rebates totaled $946 million for 2010;
  • In 2011, people with Medicare began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 7 percent coverage of generic drugs in the donut hole.  Last year, these discounts totaled over $2.3 billion in savings;
  • This year, Medicare coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap has risen to 14 percent.  For the first six months of the year, people with Medicare have saved $687 million.”

“Medicare coverage for both brand name and generic drugs in the gap will continue to increase over time until 2020, when the coverage gap will be closed,” and there will no longer be a coverage gap, CMS explained.

Following in its entirety is the news release issued July 25 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Contact: CMS Office of Public Affairs
202-690-6145

HEALTH CARE LAW SAVES $3.9 BILLION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FOR PEOPLE WITH MEDICARE

IN 2012 ALONE, OVER ONE MILLION WITH MEDICARE HAVE SAVED AN AVERAGE OF $629

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, over 5.2 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved over $3.9 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also released data today showing that in the first half of 2012, over 1 million people with Medicare saved a total of $687 million on prescription drugs in “donut hole” coverage gap for an average of $629 in savings this year.

“Millions of people with Medicare have been paying less for prescription drugs thanks to the health care law,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.  “Seniors and people with disabilities have already saved close to $4 billion. In 2020, the donut hole will be closed thanks to the Affordable Care Act.”

These savings are automatically applied to prescription drugs that people with Medicare purchase, after they hit the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole.”  Since the law was enacted, seniors and people with disabilities have had several opportunities to save on prescription drugs:

  • In 2010, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole received a one-time $250 rebate.  These rebates totaled $946 million for 2010;
  • In 2011, people with Medicare began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 7 percent coverage of generic drugs in the donut hole.  Last year, these discounts totaled over $2.3 billion in savings;
  • This year, Medicare coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap has risen to 14 percent.  For the first six months of the year, people with Medicare have saved $687 million.

Coverage for both brand name and generic drugs in the gap will continue to increase over time until 2020, when the coverage gap will be closed.

For more information on how the Affordable Care Act closes the Medicare drug benefit coverage gap “donut hole,” please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/65-older/drug-discounts/index.html

For State-by-State information on the amount of savings people with Medicare have received in the donut hole, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/Plan-Payment

More Information

For more information on Medicare prescription drug discounts under the Affordable Care Act, and how the Affordable Care Act helps seniors and people with disabilities, click on the following links to information found on HealthCare.gov:

To read more about the Affordable Care Act, see HealthCare.gov, learn how the law helps you, and find out the timeline of what’s changing and when, as the law is implemented.

For more news and information on the Affordable Care Act and health care reform, see the HelpingYouCare™ resource pages on VoicesForCare™, including:

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Copyright © 2012 Care-Help LLC, publisher of HelpingYouCare™. All rights reserved.

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