HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Medicare prescription drug premiums will remain the same next year. 17 million Medicare beneficiaries have received free prescription services, while 900,000 who hit the prescription drug donut hole have had 50% discounts on their prescription medications.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said:
"The Affordable Care Act is delivering on its promise of better health care for people with Medicare. People with Medicare who hit the donut hole are paying less for their prescription drugs, 17 million Americans have received free preventive services and prescription drug premiums will remain low. These are important steps that are making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans right now."
Those with Original Medicare are entitled to receive preventive benefits as well as a new annual wellness visit free of charge, as stipulated in the Affordable Care Act.
The HHS informs that the Affordable Care Act is closing the prescription drug donut hole by providing more discounts on medications in the donut hole. This year, the total number of individuals with Medicare benefiting from these improvements is rising:
- 51.5% of those with Original Medicare, a total of 17,336,421 people received at least one free preventive service during the first six months of this year.
- 1,061,780 people with Original Medicare have benefitted from Medicare's new Annual Wellness Visit. In mid-June the number stood at 780,000.
- During the first six months of this year 899,000 Medicare beneficiaries have benefitted from the 50% discount on prescription brand name medications in the Medicare Part D donut hole.
- All this represents so far a saving of $461 million in out-of-pocket expenses during the first six months of this year.
Donald M. Berwick, M.D., CMS Administrator, said:
"The Affordable Care Act continues to improve the value of the drug coverage people with Medicare will receive next year. Out-of- pocket costs will be lower thanks to discounts on brand name prescription drugs and increasing generic coverage for people in the donut hole. Beneficiaries should still carefully compare their current plan's coverage and quality with what is being offered in 2012 when that information becomes available in the fall."
National and regional premium data .
Written by Christian Nordqvist