The numbers are in, and they are impressive.....
Illinois residents on Medicare saved a whooping $125,148,690 on their prescription drugs in 2013, thanks to the closing of the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" under the Affordable Care Act. If you recall, the Affordable Care Act gradually closes the Part D doughnut hole until it is completely eliminated in the year 2020.
This $125+ million in savings averages out to approximately $850 per Medicare beneficiary in Illinois. That's not peanuts, particularly for Medicare beneficiaries who are often on fixed incomes and half of whom spend over 16% of their total income on health care expenses.
Nationally, 7.9 million people who are on Medicare have saved over $9.927 billion on prescription drugs under the Affordable Care Act. 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 provides that people with Medicare Part D who fall into the doughnut 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 discounts will increase until 2020, when the doughnut hole will be fully closed.
Want to know more about how the Affordable Care Act provides tangible benefits to seniors? Visit the AARP Health Law Guide.