Seniors with Medicare Reap Savings Through ACA

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says more than 5 million seniors saved money on prescription drugs and received preventative care through the Affordable Care Act in 2012.

A report released by the agency estimates that Medicare enrollees will save some $5,000 through 2022. Those with prescription drug coverage will save more than $18,000 over the same period.

Sebilius also said that 5.5 million seniors and people with disabilities saved nearly $4.5 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted. Seniors in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the donut hole have saved an average of $641 in the first eight months of 2012 alone. This includes $195 million in savings on prescriptions for diabetes, over $140 million on drugs to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and $75 million on cancer drugs so far this year. Also in the first eight months of 2012, more than 19 million people with original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them.

“I am pleased that the health care law is helping so many seniors save money on their prescription drug costs,” Secretary Sebelius said.  “A $5,000 savings will go a long way for many beneficiaries on fixed incomes and tight budgets.”

The health care law includes benefits to make Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable. In 2010, anyone with Medicare who hit the prescription drug donut hole received a $250 rebate. In 2011, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand-name drugs and a discount on generic drugs. These discounts and Medicare coverage gradually increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be closed.

In 2012 alone, 19 million people with traditional Medicare have received at least one preventive service at no cost to them. In Florida, beneficiaries have saved more than $295 million on prescription drugs in the donut hole.

For state-by-state information on utilization of free preventive services, please click here.

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