HHS Secretary Sebelius Touts Savings, Assistance for
Seniors from Obamacare
Pre-election day announcement says Affordable Care
Act has saved Medicare patients $4.8 billion on prescription drugs
Oct. 25, 2012 In a timely pre-election day press
release, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that because of
the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), 5.6 million seniors and people with
disabilities have saved $4.8 billion on prescription drugs. And, she
adds, in 2012 alone, 2.3 million people in the Medicare prescription
drug coverage gap known as the donut hole have saved an average of
$657. During the first nine months of 2012, over 20.7 million people
with original Medicare got at least one preventive service at no cost to
This announcement comes after last months
estimates that the health care law will save the typical person with
original Medicare $5,000 from 2010 to 2022.
I am pleased that the health care law is helping
so many seniors save money on their prescription drug costs, Secretary
Sebelius said. Medicare is stronger thanks to the health care law,
offering new benefits at no cost to seniors.
The health care law includes benefits to make
Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable, the news release
In 2010, anyone with Medicare who hit the
prescription drug donut hole received a $250 rebate. In 2011, people
with Medicare who hit the donut hole began receiving discounts on
covered brand-name drugs and savings for generic drugs. For 2013, people
with Medicare in the donut hole will receive about 53 percent on the
cost of brand name drugs and a 21 percent savings for the cost of
generic drugs. These savings and Medicare coverage will gradually
increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be closed.
The health care law also makes it easier for
people with Medicare to stay healthy. Prior to 2011, people with
Medicare had to pay part of the cost for many preventive health
services. These costs made it difficult for people to get the health
care they needed.
"For example, before the health care law passed, a
person with Medicare could pay as much as $160 in cost-sharing for a
colorectal cancer screening. Because of the health care law, many
preventive services are now offered free to beneficiaries (with no
deductible or co-pay) so the cost is no longer a barrier for seniors who
want to stay healthy and treat problems early.
Among the 20.7 million with original Medicare who
took advantage of a preventive service this year, 2.13 million used the
Annual Wellness Visit, created by Obamacare. This is an increase of
650,000 over the same point last year.
In 2011, an estimated 32.5 million people with
original Medicare or Medicare Advantage received one or more preventive
benefits free of charge.
>> For state-by-state information on savings in the
>> For state-by-state information on utilization of
free preventive services for people with original Medicare,
>> For more information on the estimate that the
average Medicare beneficiary will save $5,000 from 2010 to 2022 as a
result of the health care law,
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