People with Medicare save $5 billion on prescription drugs because of health care law

HHS.gov: 12/3/12

As the final week of Medicare Open Enrollment approaches, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that savings on prescription drugs made possible by the Affordable Care Act reached $5.1 billion.  More than 5.8 million people with Medicare have benefited from the assistance the health care law provides with the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the donut hole.  In the first 10 months of 2012 alone, almost 2.8 million individuals have saved an average of $677 on prescription drugs. During the same period, about 23.4 million people with original Medicare received one or more preventive services at no cost to them, with 2.5 million having received an Annual Wellness Visit.

“The health care law is saving money for people with Medicare,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Everyone with Medicare should look at their health and drug plan options for additional value before the Medicare open enrollment period ends this week.”

For 2013 the health care law provides people with Medicare in the donut hole with greater savings, as discounts rise to 53 percent of the cost of brand name drugs and 21 percent of the cost of generic drugs.  Savings on Medicare coverage of prescription drugs will gradually increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be closed. Read more