Photo by michaelquirk@istockphoto.com

Photo by michaelquirk@istockphoto.com

The numbers are in, and they are impressive – Wisconsin residents on Medicare saved $174.3 million on their prescription drugs in 2013, thanks to the closing of the “donut hole” for prescriptions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – or an average discount per beneficiary of $890.

 Nationally, 7.9 million people who are on Medicare have saved over $9.927 billion on prescription drugs under the ACA 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 ACA 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 ACA provides that people with Medicare Part D who fall into the donut hole this year will receive discounts and savings of about 53% on the cost of brand name drugs and about 28% 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 care guide for more info about how the ACA provides tangible benefits to seniors.

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