December 21, 2013
New Data Show Pennsylvania Seniors Saving Money on Rx Drugs and Preventive Services
Millions of seniors would pay more for prescriptions and preventive services such as mammograms and annual wellness visits if the Affordable Care Act were repealed
This week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released figures highlighting the impact of benefits of the Affordable Care Act for seniors. Since the health care law was enacted, nearly 7 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved a total of $9 billion on prescription drugs. In the past, when people with Medicare Part D hit a certain threshold of spending on prescription drugs, they would suddenly have to pay out-of-pocket for the entire cost of all prescriptions until they reached catastrophic coverage. Now, the Affordable Care Act is closing this gap in coverage, the so-called “donut hole.” In Pennsylvania, in just the first 10 months of 2013, over 207,000 people with Medicare have saved over $580,000,000 on prescription drugs, an average discount of almost $900 per person.
Also, new data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, in the first 11 months of 2013 alone, an estimated 25.4 million people with traditional Medicare – including over a million Pennsylvanians – received at least one free preventive service at no out-of-pocket cost, such as an annual wellness visit or mammogram.
Helping middle class families take advantage of the benefits of the health care law, like ensuring millions of seniors and people with disabilities have access to more affordable prescription medications and free preventive services through Medicare, should be a top priority for lawmakers in Washington. Yet instead of working to fix other problems with the law, a minority in Congress has voted to repeal the health care law more than 40 times. They even shut down the government in an attempt to reverse these benefits.
“In the face of technical problems with the insurance exchanges, many in Congress and conservative political groups are yet again calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This would be a disastrous reaction for seniors across America who are benefitting from improvements to Medicare,” said Wayne Burton, President of the PA Alliance for Retired Americans. “Our leaders in Washington should work together to fix any problems with the Affordable Care Act, but leave improvements to Medicare alone!”
The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, led by President Wayne Burton of Chester County, has over 300,000 members and 149 local affiliates across the Commonwealth. PARA’s mission is to educate seniors and the public about retiree issues, and organize seniors to advocate for their interests in Harrisburg and Washington. To learn more, visit www.pennretiredamericans.org.