Relief from costly prescription drug expenses for Medicare beneficiaries « Health Insurance Advisory

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new healthcare reform lawThe new healthcare law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), represents comprehensive healthcare reform legislation signed into law on March 23, 2010. It contains numerous provisions designed to protect consumers and promote low cost medical insurance, including many new taxes to pay for the cost.

In this section of the site, you can also obtain the following information specific to your state: available medical insurance options, efforts to regulate medical insurance premiums, healthcare, the individual medical insurance marketplace and the new healthcare law.

Our objective is to help Americans make sense of the new healthcare law by explaining key provisions in plain English and assisting individuals, families and the self-employed in using this information to find and secure affordable medical insurance.

Relief from costly prescription drug expenses for Medicare beneficiaries

Author: Administrator | Dec 02 2011 | Medicare

The prescription coverage gap for Medicare, also known as the “donut hole,” is getting smaller and thus easier for millions of older and disabled Americans with costly prescription drug expenses this year. Based on new Medicare figures, the gap will shrink about 40 percent for those unfortunate enough to land in it.

According to Medicare’s Office of the Actuary, the typical Medicare beneficiary who falls into the “donut hole” would have spent $1,504 this year on prescription drugs. That cost fell to $901 for a total savings of $603 as a result of discounts and other provisions in the new healthcare law, called the Affordable Care Act.

The $603 savings was comprised of an average savings of $581 from a fifty-percent discount secured by the Affordable Care Act with pharmaceutical companies on brand-name drugs, and Medicare picking an additional $22 toward the cost of generic drugs. These figures are averages. Some Medicare recipients may do better than others.

Currently, Medicare covers about 47 million beneficiaries. About 9 in 10 have some kind of prescription drug plan. Most rely on the drug benefit, also known as Part D, which is delivered through private insurance plans.

Beneficiaries have until December 7th to change their drug plan for 2012. Consumer advocates recommend that seniors check their prescription drug coverage during open enrollment to see if their current choice remains the best for next year.

The coverage gap, a money-saving idea from a previous Congress, has never been popular because it subjects individuals to costly prescription drug expenses out of their pocket. Under the new healthcare law, the gap will be gradually phased down by 2020.

A discount prescription card can help to further reduce your costly prescription drug expenses. For more information, see our discount prescription card.

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