SUBMITTED BY CONGRESSWOMAN HIRONO’S STAFF – Washington, D.C. – More than 21,000 people in Hawaii with Medicare saved close to $7 million on prescription drugs in 2011 due to the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“In Hawaii, we believe in the importance of family and working together to help our kupuna. They shouldn’t have to choose between buying groceries and buying the medications they need,” said Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (HI-02). “Under the Affordable Care Act, most seniors will save an estimated $4,200 by 2021 as a result of the law.”
The estimated $4,200 in long-term savings for people with Medicare is the result of provisions in the law like preventative services and reduced premiums, as well as efforts to close the prescription drug donut hole.
The donut hole coverage gap is created when Medicare recipients reach their coverage limit and are forced to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs. Last year, under reforms in the Affordable Care Act, people with Medicare who fell into the donut hole received a 50% discount on the cost of brand-name drugs and a 7% discount on generics.
These discounts will grow each year until the donut hole is completely closed by 2020.
In addition to the donut hole savings, the Affordable Care Act has helped to lower average premiums for Medicare Advantage enrollees by 16%.
Editors’ Note: Below is a breakdown of the prescription drug savings by county:
County People with Medicare Savings
Kauai 1,084 $343,229
Hawaii 2,860 $878,891
Honolulu 15,522 $5,003,064
Maui 1,805 $664,093
STATE TOTAL 21,271 $6,889,277
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services