Medicare Prescription Savings Through the ACA

The average person with traditional Medicare will save $5,000 from 2010 to 2022 thanks to the Affordable Care Act, according to an HHS report. Also, because of the health care law, more than 5.5 million seniors and people with disabilities saved nearly $4.5 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted. Seniors in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” have saved an average of $641 in the first eight months of 2012 alone. This includes $195 million in savings on prescriptions for diabetes, over $140 million on drugs to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and $75 million on cancer drugs so far this year. Also in the first eight months of 2012, more than 19 million people with original Medicare got at least one preventive service at no cost to them.

In 2010, anyone with Medicare who hit the prescription drug donut hole got a $250 rebate. In 2011, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole began receiving a 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs and a discount on generic drugs. These discounts and Medicare coverage gradually increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be closed.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, many preventive services are now offered free to beneficiaries (with no deductible or co-pay). In 2012 alone, 19 million people with traditional Medicare have got at least one preventive service at no cost to them. This includes 1.9 million who have taken advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit provided by the Affordable Care Act – almost 600,000 more than had used this service by this point in the year in 2011. In 2011, an estimated 32.5 million people with traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage got one or more preventive benefits free of charge. For state-by-state information on savings in the donut hole, please visit: http://downloads.cms.gov/files/Summary-Chart-2010-2012.pdf.

Last Updated 9/8/2017

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