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NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mitchell Clark
Senior Communications Associate
212-204-6286

March 25, 2014

Medicare Rights Center Celebrates 4th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act
– Health Reform Continues to Benefit People with Medicare–

New York, NY—Four years ago this week, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed into law, bringing real benefits to the tens of millions of Americans who have Medicare. As a result of the ACA:

  • About 7.9 million Medicare beneficiaries have saved $9.9 billion on prescription drugs in the coverage gap thanks to discounts on brand name and generic medications;
  • In 2013 alone, 37.2 million beneficiaries accessed at least one preventive service, including mammograms, prostate cancer screenings, and the annual wellness visit, at no out-of-pocket cost; and
  • The Medicare program is on stronger financial footing, resulting in stable Medicare Part B premiums in 2014 and an improved outlook for the program’s future beneficiaries.

“On many counts, the Medicare program is stronger than ever, due in large part to the ACA,” said Joe Baker, President of the Medicare Rights Center. “Medicare beneficiaries are receiving preventive services at no cost as well as more affordable prescription drugs in the coverage gap, and while the immediate benefits of health reform are encouraging, there is still a lot to look forward to as the law is being implemented.”

Future improvements that will occur as ACA implementation continues include:

  • Closure of the Part D coverage gap by 2020;
  • More responsible spending by Medicare Advantage (MA) plans through the requirement that 85% of plan revenues are spent on health care, which started this year; and
  • Gradual reductions in overpayments to MA plans to bring them more in line with costs under Original Medicare.

“The ACA tackles the systemic causes of rising costs in the Medicare program, and so far the results are promising. Most importantly, the ACA demonstrates that the federal government can  contain costs without shifting even higher health care costs to beneficiaries, all while improving Medicare benefits,” said Mr. Baker. “Continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act is essential to preserving and strengthening Medicare for today’s and future beneficiaries.”

 

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

 

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