CMS: ObamaCare has saved seniors $8.9 billion in drug costs

ObamaCare has saved seniors and people with disabilities nearly $9 billion in prescription drug costs, according to data touted Tuesday by the Obama administration.

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According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, 7.3 million people who reached the “doughnut hole” in their Medicare prescription drug coverage have saved $8.9 billion on their prescription drugs since the law was enacted in 2010. That’s an average savings of $1,209 per person.

The “doughnut hole” refers to the gap in prescription drug coverage in which seniors must shoulder the full costs. Coverage under Medicare Part D provides an initial coverage limit on insurance and catastrophic coverage once costs hit a certain threshold. In between, seniors must pay the full costs.

To close the hole, the government, under the new healthcare law, will cover more and more of the value of brand-name and generic drugs until 2020, when seniors will be responsible for 25 percent of the cost for each.

The CMS also said more people are increasingly being helped by the fix.

In the first 10 months of 2013, about 3.4 million people got help, compared to 2.8 million in all of 2012.

“Protecting seniors from the dreaded doughnut hole and high prescription drug costs is an important Affordable Care Act reform that Medicare beneficiaries have come to depend on,” CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement. “Today’s data shows that the law is already helping millions of seniors save billions of dollars off their needed medications.”

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