New Data Shows Affordable Care Act Saved Eastern Connecticut Seniors Nearly $20 Million On Prescription Drugs In 2016
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to grow each year until the Part D donut hole is completely phased out in 2020, if the relevant ACA provisions aren’t repealed by Congressional Republicans.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)|
|Griswold & Lisbon||288||326||434,955||483,980|
|Lyme & Old Lyme||337||319||361,643||371,276|
|Stafford & Union||293||269||418,660||425,960|
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.