Nearly 200,000 Florida seniors and people with disabilities have saved more than $338 million on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor announced today. Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also show that in 2012, almost 200,000 beneficiaries in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the "doughnut hole" have saved an average of $658.
"This is clear evidence that the Affordable Care Act is working for Floridians," Castor said. "Provisions we wrote into the health care law are directly responsible for seniors saving money on their prescription drugs. The doughnut hole is closing. Seniors are also taking advantage of free preventive services, including well visits. This means seniors across Florida and the United States are saving money on health care, enabling them to spend their hard-earned dollars on other necessities, such as their rent, mortgages and food."
In 2010, Medicare beneficiaries who hit the coverage gap or "doughnut hole" in the Medicare prescription drug benefit, received a one-time $250 rebate. In 2011, Medicare beneficiaries began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and coverage for 7 percent of the cost of generic drugs in the coverage gap. This year, along with the 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs, Part D covers 14 percent of the cost of generic drugs in the coverage gap. In 2013, discounts and Part D coverage will rise to cover 53 percent of the cost of brand name drugs and 21 percent of the cost of generic drugs. Savings and Medicare coverage will gradually increase until 2020, when the coverage gap will be closed.