New information from the Department of Health and Human Services found that people with Medicare saved $3.9 billion on prescription drugs in 2013. The information was released on the 4th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being enacted as law.
More than 7.9 million seniors and people with disabilities saved an average of $1,265 per person since the ACA went into law. The report found that the health care law saved 4.3 million beneficiaries saved an average of $911 each in 2013 and offered lower costs on prescription drugs.
"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we saw a stronger Medicare program in 2013," said former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "Seniors are saving billions of dollars on their needed medications and continuing to enjoy benefits that will lead to healthier lives and lower costs in the long run."
According to HHS, Medicare Part D coverage is helping to close the gap for those with Medicare who previously had to pay for all over their medications before the ACA went into effect. This gap, also known as the "donut hole," requires beneficiaries to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs out of pocket when they reach their coverage limit and haven't yet hit catastrophic coverage. This coverage comes in when you've spent $4,550 out-of-pocket ensuring that you are only required to pay a small copay for prescription medications throughout the remainder of the year.
Those with a prescription drug plan who fall into the donut hole in 2014 will be offered discounts and savings totaling 53 percent on brand name drugs and 28 percent on generic medications. HHS said those numbers will continue to increase until the hole is closed in 2020.
Costs for Part D
The monthly premium for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan varies based on an individual's adjusted gross income based on their tax returns.
- Individual tax returns of $85,000 or less, a joint tax return of $170,000 or less and a married and separate tax return of $85,000 or less only requires beneficiaries to pay the plan's premium.
- An individual tax return of more than $85,000 and less than $107,000 is $12.10 per month as well as the plan premium.
- A tax return of more than $107,000 to $160,000 is $31.10 per month plus the plan premium.
- Those with an individual tax return of $160,000 to $214,000 pay $50.20 per month in addition to the plan premium.
- Any individual tax return greater than $214,000 is $69.30 per month plus the plan premium.
The yearly deductible for prescription drug coverage varies depending on the plan you choose. In 2014, the maximum deductible is $310 and some don't have any at all.