WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 3.6 million people with Medicare saved $2.1 billion on their prescription drugs in 2011 thanks to the Affordable Care Act according to data issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“The Affordable Care Act is already saving money for millions of Americans with Medicare,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “As we move forward, we will close the donut hole completely and save even more money for everyone with Medicare.”
The Affordable Care Act provides a 50 percent discount on brand-name prescription drugs and this year, a 14% discount on generics. Last year, it provided a seven percent discount on covered generic medications for people who hit the prescription drug coverage gap known as the donut hole last year, with 2,814,646 beneficiaries receiving $32.1 million in savings on generics.
In 2011, the 3.6 million Americans who hit the donut hole saved an average of $604 on the cost of their prescription drugs.
Data also show that women especially benefited from the law’s provision with 2.05 million women saving $1.2 billion on their prescription drugs.
By 2020, the donut hole will be closed completely. The report released this month by the Department of Health and Human Services finds that this provision and other features of the health reform law will generate substantial savings for people with Medicare. Typical Medicare beneficiaries will save an average of nearly $4,200 from 2011 to 2021. People with high prescription drug costs could save as much as $16,000.
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