AFFORDABLE CARE ACT SAVED PEOPLE ON MEDICARE OVER $3.4 BILLION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
IN THE FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 2012 ALONE, MORE THAN 220,000 PEOPLE ON MEDICARE SAVED AN AVERAGE OF $837 8.9 MILLION USED A FREE PREVENTIVE SERVICE
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare have saved a total of $3.4 billion on prescription drugs from the enactment of the law through March of 2012. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data today showing that, in the first three months of 2012 alone, more than 220,000 people saved an average of $837 on the prescription drugs they purchased after they hit the prescription drug donut hole, for a total of $184.5 million in savings. These savings build on the law’s success in 2010 and 2011, when more than 5.1 million people with Medicare saved over $3.2 billion on prescription drugs.
In addition, CMS announced that, from January through March 8.9 million people in traditional Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them – including over 560,000 who have taken advantage of the new Annual Wellness Visit. In 2011, over 32.5 million people in traditional Medicare received one or more preventive benefit free of charge.
“The Affordable Care Act is helping millions on Medicare save billions of dollars on care and prescription drugs,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. The Affordable Care Act gives people on Medicare the relief they need from medical costs and more resources to stay healthy.”
People with Medicare who hit the donut hole in 2010 received a one-time $250 rebate. 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. This year, the coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap has risen to 14 percent. This coverage 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 donut hole, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/65-older/drug-discounts/index.html.
Prior to 2011, people on Medicare faced cost-sharing for many preventive benefits like cancer screenings and smoking cessation counseling. Now, these benefits are offered free of charge to beneficiaries, with no deductible or co-pay.
For more information on Medicare-covered preventive services, many of which are now provided without charge to beneficiaries thanks to the Affordable Care Act, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/65-older/medicare-preventive-services/index.html.
# # #