Seniors have saved $5 billion on prescription drugs because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday.
HHS said 5.6 million seniors received a drug discount or rebate, including 2.3 million this year alone. On average, HHS claims, those seniors in the “donut hole” have saved $657 this year.
The law attempts to gradually close the Medicare “donut hole”—the coverage gap in which seniors have to pay for their drugs entirely out of pocket.
The HHS regularly touts advantages of the health reform law. Last month, the department announced the health law will save the typical person with original Medicare $5,000 from 2010 to 2022. With the election just days away, poll after poll confirm that health care issues—Medicare and health reform chief among them—are important to voter decisions.
In a statement, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that “Medicare is stronger” now because to health reform, adding that the law offers new benefits at no cost to seniors.
The PPACA has also helped Medicare patients receive preventive services, HHS said. Nearly 21 million Medicare patients have received at least one free preventive service this year.