As a result of the Affordable Care Act, over 5.2 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved over $3.9 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced this week. The federal agency said that in the first half of 2012, over 1 million people with Medicare saved a total of $687 million on prescription drugs in “doughnut hole” coverage gap for an average of $629 in savings this year.
Since the law was enacted, seniors and people with disabilities have had several opportunities to save on prescription drugs. In 2010, people with Medicare who hit the doughnut hole received a one-time $250 rebate. These rebates totaled $946 million for 2010. In 2011, people with Medicare began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 7 percent coverage of generic drugs in the doughnut hole. Last year, these discounts totaled over $2.3 billion in savings. This year, Medicare coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap has risen to 14 percent. For the first six months of the year, people with Medicare saved $687 million.