POSTED: Monday, June 25, 2012 - 10:02am
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 8:43am
As a result of the Affordable Care Act, more than 5,254,000 seniors and people with disabilities have saved a total of $3.7 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 five months of 2012, 745,000 people with Medicare saved a total of $485.3 million on prescription drugs in “donut hole” coverage gap for an average of $651 in savings this year.
“Thanks to the health care law, millions of people with Medicare have been paying less for prescription drugs,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “The law is helping people with Medicare lower their medical costs, and giving them more resources to stay healthy. By 2020, the donut hole will be fully 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.”
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, Medicare coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap has risen to 14 percent. Coverage for both brand name and generic drugs in the gap will continue to increase over time until 2020, when the coverage gap will no longer exist.
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