U.S. Rep. Ron Kind highlighted a report today indicating that Medicare beneficiaries have seen significantly lower health care costs, including prescription drug discounts and free preventive care, as a result of health care reform, the Affordable Care Act.
"Health care reform is providing security and stability for our seniors, strengthening Medicare and closing the prescription drug donut hole," said Rep. Kind. "It's clear that the Affordable Care Act is working for our seniors and for Wisconsin."
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as of the end of October, 2.65 million people with Medicare have already received the 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs for those in the Medicare Part D "donut hole' coverage gap, saving more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions-- averaging about $569 per person. Wisconsin's savings averaged higher -- about $606 a person. In addition, more than 24.2 million people, including 440,011 in Wisconsin, took advantage of at least one free preventive benefit, including the new Annual Wellness Visit -- made possible by the Affordable Care Act.
"AARP is pleased that Medicare beneficiaries in Wisconsin are seeing their prescription costs decrease and are getting much-needed preventive benefits to keep them healthy," said Lisa Lamkins, Advocacy Director AARP Wisconsin.
Under the Affordable Care Act:
836,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Wisconsin are eligible to receive free preventive services -- like mammograms and colonoscopies -- as well as a free annual wellness visit with their doctor.
64,041 Wisconsin residents who hit the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the "donut hole" received $250 tax-free rebates in 2010, and received a 50% discount on brand name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole this year.