The Affordable Care Act has produced $2.1 billion in prescription drug savings for nearly 4 million seniors and people with disabilities who were enrolled in Medicare Part D in 2011, a new Obama administration report finds. The savings are the result of a provision in the health care law that provides a 50 percent discount for brand-name drugs and 14 percent discount for generic brands to Medicare beneficiaries in the so-called “doughnut hole.” Seniors can expect greater savings as the law completely closes the coverage gap over time.
The average Medicare enrollee will save approximately $4,181 from 2011 to 2021, while those with high prescription drug costs could save as much as $15,710 over the same period. Those with low drug costs should save roughly $2,964:
The report identifies three other sources of savings for Medicare recipients: 1) premiums for Part B physician and certain other services are expected to increase at a slower rate, 2) beneficiary copayments and coinsurance under Part A and B will increase more slowly because the Affordable Care Act slows the rate of growth in payments to hospitals and other providers, and 3) offer seniors preventive services at no additional cost.
Yesterday, the administration announced that a growing number of seniors are enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans and are paying lower premiums as compared to last year.