Seniors, Medicare & The Affordable Care Act

The following information is provided directly from the web site.

The Affordable Care Act makes many changes to strengthen Medicare and provide stronger benefits to seniors, while slowing cost growth. As a result, average Medicare beneficiary savings in traditional Medicare will be approximately $3,500 over the next ten years.

Beneficiaries who have high prescription drug spending will save much more – as much as $12,300 over the next 10 years. In comparison, Medicare beneficiaries with low drug costs will save an average of $2,400 over 10 years.

This report provides estimates of savings from the Affordable Care Act to seniors and people living with disabilities enrolled in traditional Medicare. The Affordable Care Act will favorably affect beneficiary expenditures in four ways.

First, premiums for Part B physician and certain other services are expected to increase at a slower rate than would have occurred without the Affordable Care Act, resulting in lower Part B premiums over time.

Second, beneficiary co payments and coinsurance under Part A and B will increase more slowly because the Affordable Care Act slows the rate of growth in payments to hospitals and other providers.

Third, closing the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, often called the “donut hole,” will lower costs for beneficiaries who otherwise would have been required to spend thousands of dollars out of their own pocket for their prescription drugs.

Fourth, the Affordable Care Act will provide many preventive services to seniors at no additional cost.

The Affordable Care Act will save approximately $500 billion over the next ten years through:
  • reduction in extra subsidies paid to Medicare Advantage plans,
  • reductions in the rate of growth in provider payments,  
  • efforts to make the Medicare program more efficient and to reduce waste, fraud and abuse.

These reductions will lead to corresponding savings for beneficiaries through lower co payments and premiums. A slower rate of growth in Medicare is expected to result in a slower rate of growth in beneficiary out-of-pocket payments, and a slower rate of growth in Part B premiums. In addition, the closing of the donut hole will result in large savings for beneficiaries with high levels of prescription drug spending.

Medicare D Drug Discounts

The Affordable Care Act includes benefits to make your Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) more affordable. It does this by gradually closing the gap in drug coverage known as the "Donut Hole."

What This Means for You
Starting January 1, 2011, if you reached the coverage gap in your Medicare Part D coverage, you would have automatically received a 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs. You receive the discount when you buy them at a pharmacy or order them through the mail, until you reach the catastrophic coverage phase.

You can expect additional savings on your covered brand-name and generic drugs while in the coverage gap until the gap is closed in 2020. From now until 2020 the gap will slowly be phasing down.  Follow this link if you want to see the exact phase down cycle.

Please use the comment section to share your concerns about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

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