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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

New Data Shows Affordable Care Act Saved Eastern Connecticut Seniors Nearly $20 Million On Prescription Drugs In 2016

January 19, 2017
Press Release

NORWICH, CT —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) made the following statement after new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that 14,531 seniors in Connecticut’s Second District saved $19.8 million on prescription drugs in 2016—an average of $1,808.00 per beneficiary—thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are closing the donut hole in Medicare Part D coverage. These numbers show increased savings over 2015 when beneficiaries saved $19.1 million, and $15.5 million in 2014. These savings are expected to continue to grow each year until the Part D donut hole is completely phased out in 2020, if the relevant ACA provisions aren’t repealed by Congressional Republicans.

Since 2010, Medicare beneficiaries have received financial help on prescription drug costs thanks to the ACA. The law phases out the Medicare Part D donut hole—the statutory gap in coverage where beneficiaries are responsible for the full out-of-pocket drug costs.  In 2016, Medicare beneficiaries who reached the Part D donut hole received a 55 percent discount on brand-name drugs and a 42 percent discount on generic drugs. These discount percentages increase to 60 and 49 respectively, for 2017.

“These savings are providing critical relief to local seniors who previously had to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars out-of-pocket to obtain their prescription drugs,” said Courtney. “For many eastern Connecticut seniors on fixed annual incomes, the average savings of more than $1,808 per year can often mean the difference between purchasing medication or food, and being able to live with dignity in retirement. This data shows how the Affordable Care Act is working for eastern Connecticut’s seniors, and what is at risk as the debate over repealing law continues in the weeks ahead.”

The chart below shows the top 10 eastern Connecticut towns with the largest savings totals in 2016: 

  Number of Beneficiaries with Gap Discount Total Gap Discount Amount (Dollars)
  2015 2016 2015 2016
Andover 64 63 93,324 85,796
Ashford 125 114 221,964 205,764
Bolton 133 112 150,038 139,168
Bozrah 51 54 68,798 79,465
Brooklyn 178 155 247,989 243,773
Canterbury 136 119 184,965 186,799
Chaplin 62 57 97,379 94,185
Chester 83 84 88,905 99,772
Clinton 307 257 334,668 315,021
Colchester 339 314 438,342 423,824
Columbia 170 173 241,691 238,910
Coventry 295 277 397,912 405,521
Deep River 103 105 113,022 119,551
East Haddam 198 179 274,186 275,233
East Hampton 270 252 352,889 355,357
East Lyme 536 555 652,762 748,857
Eastford 32 35 39,918 54,521
Ellington 359 362 463,760 467,245
Enfield 890 846 1,085,434 1,070,489
Essex 254 228 244,983 239,499
Franklin 51 53 68,052 75,634
Griswold & Lisbon 288 326 434,955 483,980
Groton 383 437 472,940 641,268
Haddam 230 220 325,203 339,736
Hampton 58 58 100,905 79,873
Hebron 233 200 318,967 288,282
Killingly 244 246 289,874 301,810
Killingworth 178 170 214,015 192,893
Lebanon 176 177 285,275 274,585
Ledyard 183 246 228,028 358,063
Madison 559 511 592,262 592,925
Mansfield 408 377 591,750 571,034
Marlborough 142 147 163,838 185,842
Montville 362 389 523,837 632,167
Mystic 396 437 440,187 590,510
New London 261 268 313,728 392,074
North Stonington 118 125 137,040 178,734
Norwich 688 655 919,340 997,226
Lyme & Old Lyme 337 319 361,643 371,276
Old Saybrook 375 310 409,847 389,995
Plainfield 249 243 306,894 341,252
Pomfret 75 74 90,999 92,338
Preston 109 107 144,622 153,229
Putnam 124 118 147,901 147,380
Salem 85 70 102,054 98,917
Scotland 19 22 30,505 29,277
Somers 257 235 342,014 324,201
Sprauge 56 56 60,190 69,407
Stafford & Union 293 269 418,660 425,960
Sterling 29 26 30,060 32,920
Stonington 328 358 348,008 429,762
Suffield 344 342 422,033 318,826
Thompson 157 152 172,723 189,038
Tolland 378 330 469,289 448,923
Vernon 692 657 888,236 853,288
Voluntown 56 56 75,532 88,116
Waterford 463 529 588,932 717,264
Westbrook 197 193 226,557 223,798
Willington 103 110 174,118 171,311
Windham 427 401 584,397 595,297
Woodstock 155 151 189,232 198,735

 

Nationwide, in 2016 4,918,048 Medicare beneficiaries saved $5.65 billion on their prescription drugs thanks to the ACA closing the Part D ‘donut hole.’ Since 2010, when the provisions began to close the coverage gap, beneficiaries have saved a total of more than $26.4 billion. 

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