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Affordable Care Act saves Kansas seniors big money on prescriptions


A new report from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services says Kansans on Medicare will save more than $10 million this year on prescription drugs, thanks to one of the lesser-known provisions of the Affordable Care Act reported Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio

You probably know about the mandate to buy health insurance, the glitches in the federal exchange, and the Supreme Court challenges to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.  But did you know that the health care law also helps Medicare beneficiaries who pay high out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs? 

Medicare Part D, which offers insurance coverage for drugs, requires people to pay the full cost of their medications once their drug spending reaches a certain level.  This is known as the “donut hole”, as the coverage eventually kicks in again once a person’s drug spending reaches catastrophic levels. 

The new health care law gradually phases out the donut hole.  According to the federal report, 14,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Kansas will save more than $700 each this year, because of the increased drug coverage.  That works out to more than $10 million saved in Kansas this year, and almost $107 million since the provision first took effect in 2010. 

To listen to the story from Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio, go to kansaspublicradio.org.