The numbers are in, and they are impressive – 9,725 North Dakota residents on Medicare saved nearly $7.7 million on their prescription drugs in 2013, thanks to the closing of the “donut hole” for prescriptions under the Affordable Care Act – or an average discount per beneficiary of $791.
North Dakotans in Medicare have saved $22.9 million on prescription drugs since the health care law went into effect.
Nationally, 7.9 million people who are on Medicare have saved over $9.927 billion on prescription drugs under the Affordable Care Act and its provision closing the “donut hole,” the gap in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage where enrollees had to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs. In 2013 alone, 4.3 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $3.9 billion, or an average of $911 per beneficiary. The Affordable Care Act over time closes the gap in coverage where beneficiaries have to pay the full cost of their prescriptions out of pocket before catastrophic coverage for prescriptions takes effect.
The Affordable Care Act provides that people with Medicare Part D who fall into the donut hole this year will receive discounts and savings of about 53 percent on the cost of brand name drugs and about 28 percent on the cost of generic drugs. These savings and Medicare coverage will increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be fully closed.
Go to AARP’s health law guide for more information about how the Affordable Care Act provides tangible benefits to seniors.