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As a result of the Affordable Care Act, people with Medicare in Oregon have saved $44,372,738 on prescription drugs since the law was enacted. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also released data today showing that in the first half of 2012, 12,053 with Medicare in Oregon saved a total of $6,646,011 on prescription drugs in “donut hole” coverage gap for an average of $551 in savings this year.
Nationwide, over 5.2 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved over $3.9 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted.
“Millions of people with Medicare have been paying less for prescription drugs thanks to the health reform law,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “Seniors and people with disabilities have already saved close to $4 billion nationwide. In 2020, the donut hole will be closed thanks to the Affordable Care Act.”
These savings are automatically applied to prescription drugs that people with Medicare purchase, after they hit the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole.” Since the law was enacted, seniors and people with disabilities have had several opportunities to save on prescription drugs:
- In 2010, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole received a one-time $250 rebate. These rebates in Oregon totaled $12,560,000;
- In 2011, people with Medicare began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 7 percent coverage of generic drugs in the donut hole. Last year, 46,973 Medicare beneficiaries in Oregon received a total of $25,166,727 in discounts, an average savings of $536 for 2011;
- This year, Medicare coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap has risen to 14 percent. For the first six months of the year, people with Medicare in Oregon have saved $6,646,011.
Coverage for both brand name and generic drugs in the gap will continue to increase over time until 2020, when the coverage gap will be closed.
For more information on how the Affordable Care Act closes the Medicare drug benefit coverage gap “donut hole,” please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/65-older/drug-discounts/index.html.