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Mainers save millions through Affordable Care Act

Posted July 29, 2014, at 2:39 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported Tuesday that Maine has saved $34,937,539 on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

In Maine, more than 5,300 residents will benefit from the funds, with an average of $784 per beneficiary.

Nationally, more than 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare have received prescription drug savings as a result of the Affordable Care Act, saving $11.5 billion since 2010.

HHS released the report on the eve of the 49th anniversary of the signing of Medicare and Medicaid into law.

The Affordable Care Act makes Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable by gradually closing the gap in coverage where beneficiaries had to pay the full cost of their prescriptions out of pocket, before catastrophic coverage took effect.  This gap is known as the doughnut hole. Also anyone with a Medicare prescription drug plan who reached the doughnut hole received a $250 rebate.

The average per-participant savings nationally between the doughnut hole and rebate is $1,407, up from $1,061 last year. In 2014, people with a Medicare prescription drug plan who fall into the doughnut hole will save from discounts and increased coverage in the gap about 53 percent on the cost of brand name drugs, and save from increased coverage in the gap about 28 percent on the cost of generic drugs.

For state-by-state information on discounts on the donut hole, please visit:http://downloads.cms.gov/files/Medicare-Part-D-Donut-Hole-Savings-Summary-2010-June-2014.pdf.

For more information about Medicare prescription drug benefits, please visit:http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/.

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