CMS: Affordable Care Act continues to close "donut hole"

May 24, 2012

The Affordable Care Act saved Medicare recipients more than $3 billion on prescription drugs and 12.1 million recipients used a free preventive service in the first four months of 2012, the government said in a news release today.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) saved Medicare recipients more than $3 billion on prescription drugs and 12.1 million recipients used a free preventive service in the first four months of 2012, the government said in a news release today.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), through the end of April more than 416,000 people saved an average of $724 on prescription drugs, a total of $301.5 million in savings after they hit the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole,” for a total of $301.5 million in savings.

These savings build on the law’s success in 2010 and 2011, when more than 5.1 million people with Medicare saved over $3.2 billion on prescription drugs, the news release stated.

“Thanks to the healthcare law, millions of people with Medicare have paid less for health care and prescription drugs,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “The law is helping people with Medicare lower their medical costs, and giving them more resources to stay healthy.”

Of the 12.1 million people in traditional Medicare who received at least one preventive service at no cost so far this year, more than 856,000 have taken advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit provided in the ACA, CMS said.

For more information on how the ACA closes the Medicare drug benefit coverage gap “donut hole,” visit Medicare drug discounts.