September 30, 2015

Thousands of Rhode Island Seniors Save Over $50 Million from Health Care Law’s “Doughnut Hole” Fix Since 2010

Medicare Beneficiaries Save on Prescription Drugs and Preventive Services

Washington, D.C. – Thousands of Rhode Island seniors have saved over $50 million since 2010 on prescription drugs because of the Affordable Care Act, according to federal data released last week. This year, more than 7,200 Rhode Islanders on Medicare saved over $5.8 million on their prescriptions through July, for an average savings of $814 per patient.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, thousands of Rhode Island seniors fell into the coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole,” and were forced to pay the full cost of their prescriptions. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse fought to eliminate the coverage gap as part of the Affordable Care Act, resulting in the savings seniors are experiencing today.

“Rhode Island seniors continue to save money on their prescription drugs, and enjoy greater preventive care as a result of the Affordable Care Act,” said Whitehouse. “Thanks to the Medicare doughnut hole fix, Rhode Islanders will continue to save millions in health care costs.” 

Another key provision of the Affordable Care Act made certain that preventive services such as annual screenings and mammograms were available at no out-of-pocket cost.  The new data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that over 63,000 Rhode Islanders have accessed at least one preventive service through July of this year.

In 2011, the Affordable Care Act provided Medicare recipients a 50 percent discount on brand-name prescription drugs.  In 2013, the federal government started to increase that discount, and will continue to increase it until the doughnut hole is completely closed in 2020. 


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