Today, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Malden) announced that a new analysis issued last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that under the Affordable Care Act, average savings for those enrolled in traditional Medicare will amount to more than $3,500 over the next 10 years per beneficiary. And over the next 10 years, savings could even be as high as $12,300 for seniors and people with disabilities who have high prescription drug costs.
"What our seniors need most is a prescription for drug savings, and the Affordable Care Act does just that by helping to reduce the burden of health care costs while strengthening Medicare," said Markey. "Improved benefits and savings for our most vulnerable residents and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare are only possible with the continued implementation of the health reform law."
The analysis, released by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), shows that the health reform law helps lower costs for those on Medicare by slowing the growth of cost-sharing in Medicare. Closing the Part D coverage gap known as the "donut hole' will produce the greatest cost savings. Already, 3,330 seniors in the 7th Congressional District of Massachusetts have so far received the $250 donut hole checks that were provided due to the new health care reform law. In total, these seniors in the district have received a total of $825,000 to help pay their high drug costs. And starting next year, seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare will have access to a number of recommended preventive services and annual wellness visits at no additional cost.
Although all seniors and people with disabilities in Medicare are likely to see savings, the savings will be greatest for those with costly medical conditions or high prescription drug costs. Total savings per beneficiary enrolled in traditional Medicare are estimated to be $86 in 2011, rising to $649 in 2020. For a beneficiary with spending in the donut hole, estimated savings increase from $553 in 2011 to $2,217 in 2020.