drugs. Drug savings of $2.5 billion in 2012 are higher than the $2.3 billion in savings for 2011.
In 2012, people with Medicare in the “donut hole” received a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 14 percent discount on generic drugs. As a result of the Affordable Care
Act, coverage for both brand name and generic drugs will continue to increase over time until the coverage gap is closed.
The Affordable Care Act also removed barriers for people with Medicare to get preventive services, many of which previously required cost-sharing for patients. In 2012, many
recommended preventive services were offered to people with Medicare, with no deductibles or co-pays, meaning that cost is no longer a barrier for seniors and people with disabilities who
want to stay healthy by detecting and treating health problems early. Use of preventive
services has expanded among people with Medicare. In 2012 alone, an estimated 34.1 million
people with Medicare benefited from Medicare’s coverage of preventive services with no costsharing.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Medicare program also performed well in several other
areas in 2012:
- Compared to 2011, people with Medicare continued to pay moderate premiums for Medicare Part B benefits, which cover outpatient care, doctors' services, lab tests, durable medical supplies, and other services.
- Those who enrolled in Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans paid average premiums lower than what they paid in 2010, and they had access to a wide range of plan choices.
- New techniques were implemented to detect, prevent and fight health care fraud.