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Medicare & Medicaid News

Senior Citizens, Medicare Reaping Big Benefits from Obamacare, $11.5 Billion Saved on Drugs

New report says per capita Medicare spending growth averaged 2% over 2009 – 2012, and nearly 0% in 2013

July 29, 2014 - More than 8.2 senior citizens and people with disabilities covered by Medicare have saved $11.5 billion since 2010 as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services. Obamacare was just yesterday credited with extending the life of Medicare benefits. This news also comes on the heels of continued historic low levels of growth in Medicare spending.

According to the recent Medicare Trustees report, the life of the Trust Fund has been extended to 2030, up from its projection of 2017 in 2009, and Part B premiums are expected to stay the same rather than increase for the second year in a row. Additionally, a new HHS report found that per capita, Medicare spending growth has averaged 2 percent over 2009 – 2012, and nearly 0 percent in 2013, one-third of the growth rate over the 2000-2008 period.


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News not so good on Social Security: projected to run out of disability benefit money in 2016, just two years from now, unless Congress intervenes

By Julie Rovner, KNH Staff Writer

July 28, 2014

New Health Care Innovation Awards Announced for Better Health Care, Lower Costs

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Center to invest $360 million

July 10, 2014

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“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, seniors and people with disabilities are saving on needed medications,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “By making prescription drugs more affordable, we are improving and promoting the best care for people with Medicare.”

The Affordable Care Act makes Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable by gradually closing the gap in coverage where beneficiaries had to pay the full cost of their prescriptions out of pocket, before catastrophic coverage took effect. This gap is known as the donut hole.

Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, out-of-pocket savings on medications for people with Medicare prescription drug coverage continues to grow. More than 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare have saved over $11.5 billion on prescription drugs since 2010 as a result of discounts in the donut hole and rebates in 2010, for an average of $1,407.

These figures are higher than last year at this time when over 6.6 million seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare had saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs averaging $1,061 per beneficiary in donut hole discounts.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, in 2010, anyone with a Medicare prescription drug plan who reached the prescription drug donut hole received a $250 rebate. Beginning in 2011, beneficiaries in the donut hole began receiving discounts on covered brand-name drugs and savings on generic drugs.

These savings and Medicare coverage will gradually increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be closed. In 2014, people with a Medicare prescription drug plan who fall into the donut hole will save from discounts and increased coverage in the gap about 53 percent on the cost of brand name drugs and save from increased coverage in the gap about 28 percent on the cost of generic drugs.

For state-by-state information on discounts on the donut hole, please visit:

For more information about Medicare prescription drug benefits, please visit:

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