More than 6.3 million beneficiaries saved over $6.1 billion on prescription drugs as of March 2013 under the Affordable Care Act, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
All told, the average beneficiary with Traditional Medicare will save $5,000 from 2010 to 2022, and beneficiaries with high prescription drug costs will save an average of more than $18,000 over the same period, HHS said.
Before the ACA was enacted, Part D beneficiaries paid 25 percent of the cost of their drugs until the total bill reached $2,830 (in 2010). Beneficiaries then paid the full cost of drugs until their total out-of-pocket spending reached $4,550, a gap in coverage known as the "donut hole."
The ACA closes the donut hole over time. In 2010, it provided Medicare beneficiaries a one-time, $250 rebate check when they reached the donut hole. In 2011, beneficiaries in the donut hole received a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs. In 2013, the ACA increases the discounts and savings to 52.5 percent for most brand-name drugs and 21 percent for covered generic drugs. That discount will increase gradually until 2020, when the donut hole is closed.
What Is the “Donut Hole?”
What Do Part D Plans Cover?
How Do Participants Pay for Part D Plans?
Do Any State Governments Offer Financial Assistance to Pay for Medications?
Does the Federal Government Offer Financial Assistance to Pay for Medications?