Seniors Save Nearly $9 Billion on Prescription Drugs Thanks to the Affordable Care Act

Today, the Administration released new data showing that Affordable Care Act is helping more seniors save more money on their prescription drug costs.

Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, more than 7.3 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved $8.9 billion on their prescription drugs, an average of $1,209 per person since 2010.

Before the Affordable Care Act, many people with Medicare Part D would pay out-of-pocket for the entire cost of prescription drugs once they hit the coverage gap in prescription drug benefits known as the “donut hole.” Beneficiaries continued paying full price for prescriptions until reaching catastrophic coverage.

But under a discount program in the Affordable Care Act, anyone with a Medicare prescription drug plan who reached the prescription drug donut hole in 2010 got a $250 rebate. Beginning in 2011, beneficiaries who landed in the donut hole began receiving discounts on covered brand-name drugs and savings on generic drugs.

In just the first 10 months of 2013, nearly 3.4 million people nationwide who reached the coverage gap this year have saved $2.9 billion, an average of $866 per beneficiary. These figures are higher than at this same point last year, when 2.8 million beneficiaries had saved $1.8 billion, an average of $677 each.

Next year, Medicare Part D participants who fall into the donut hole will receive savings of about 53 percent on the cost of brand name drugs and 28 percent on the cost of generic drugs. Savings and Medicare coverage will gradually increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be closed completely.

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