Since Medicare Part D went into effect in 2006, prescription drugs have been an integral part of the Medicare benefit package. So, the question of how seniors can save additional money on medications often comes up, but so does the question of how the entire Medicare Part D program can be more cost-effective and save taxpayers money without jeopardizing enrollee benefits.
For Medicare beneficiaries, there was a host of good news from the federal government last week.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), premiums for prescription drug coverage will not rise in 2012, more seniors are now receiving preventive care thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and beneficiaries who have reached the doughnut hole are receiving a 50% discount on prescription drugs.
Today, members of Congress in both the House and the Senate introduced the Medicare Drug Savings Act of 2013, which would restore drug rebates for low-income people with Medicare. President Obama included a similar proposal in his budget last week, and for good reason. Getting Medicare a better price on prescription drugs would save the federal government more than $140 billion without shifting costs to low- and middle-income seniors.
Hundreds of thousands of older Americans breathed a sigh of relief this year, and millions more will in the next few years. The “doughnut hole,” a gap in Medicare coverage of prescription drugs, has caused so many older Americans pain. But now, it is finally closing, thanks to health reform and the Affordable Care Act.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced late last week that 6.3 million Medicare beneficiaries have saved a total of $6.1 billion on their prescription drug coverage since the enactment of Affordable Care Act in 2010.
A new website offers a clickable interactive map with statistics about how the Affordable Care Act has and will affect the residents each state. The site, HealthCareandYou.org, is sponsored by national health care organizations such as AARP, American Cancer Society, and the American Medical Association. You can learn things about your state or click on a friend’s to see what’s happening there.