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letter to the editor

Updated: August 31, 2012 6:05AM



Affordable Care Act
saved billions for
Medicare recipients

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 one 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.”

The Affordable Care Act is already making a difference to millions of seniors and people with disabilities by helping them save on prescription drug medicines. Those extra dollars in the hands of Medicare recipients in the donut hole, especially those on a fixed income, are clearly making an impact in their everyday lives.

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 seven 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

Angela Benander

Communications Director

Protect Your Care Illinois

Chicago



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