There are encouraging new statistics out today showing how provisions of the Affordable Care Act are helping Nebraska seniors access the medications they need. AARP released this statement late today:
AARP: New Report Shows Progress of Health Care Law for Nebraskans in Medicare’s “Doughnut Hole”
LINCOLN–New data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows the impact of key prescription drug affordability provisions in the health care law. The agency reported that nearly 26,000 Nebraskans fell into the Medicare Part D coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in 2010 and received a $250 rebate check. From Jan. 1 – Feb, 28, 2011, almost 48,000 people across the country have already benefited from the law’s 50 percent discount on brand name drugs for those who fall into the coverage gap. The discount will gradually increase until the doughnut hole closes in 2020.
“We’ve been hearing from our members for years about the challenges they’ve faced paying for their prescription drugs,” said Connie Benjamin, AARP Nebraska State Director. “That’s why we fought to get help for them and all older Americans in the health care law, and we’re pleased to see some progress for millions of people in Medicare across the country.
“While some people in Medicare are now getting needed help with their drug costs, there’s certainly more that needs to be done to help rein in skyrocketing prescription drug prices for all Americans. AARP is still pushing for common sense measures that would allow for the safe and legal importation of prescription drugs from abroad, increase access to less costly generic drugs and allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices directly with drug makers. We also encourage people to take advantage of AARP’s free on-line doughnut hole tool and drug-savings tool at www.aarp.org/getthefacts to learn about lower cost drugs that may help them avoid the doughnut hole.
“AARP is focused on ensuring the health care law is implemented to best meet the needs of older Americans and their families, as well as helping our members and the public understand the new law so they can make the best decisions for themselves and loved ones.”