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Inflation Reduction Act and Affordable Care Act Working Together to Lower Health Care Costs

In advance of this week’s one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Biden-Harris administration released a set of fact sheets last month highlighting health care cost savings achieved under the IRA and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. 

The fact sheets include information about a broad range of health care costs for people with Medicare and across the health care market. The reports detail state-by-state projected savings on Part D out-of-pocket costs – especially for insulin and vaccines – as well as information about the number of people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, or Marketplace coverage in 2023 as compared to before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

These fact sheets help us understand the impact of policy changes in real life – decreased uninsurance rates and lower prescription costs for large numbers of people.

For example, the fact sheet for New York tells us that Medicare Part D enrollees in New York spent an average of $303 out-of-pocket on drugs in 2022. The IRA’s changes to the prescription drug benefit are expected to save New Yorkers a total of nearly $197 million in 2024 and over $446 million in 2025.

If the IRA’s insulin and vaccine provisions had been in effect in 2020, New Yorkers would have saved over $36 million on insulin and $9 million on vaccines.

Since its implementation, the ACA has had a huge impact on health insurance coverage for people in New York. The total uninsured rate was cut in half, from 10.7% in 2013 to 5.2% in 2021.

Many New Yorkers are receiving coverage through the Marketplace, with 214,000 residents signing up in 2023.  For 2022, the average subsidy per month for those receiving a subsidy was $362, and the average monthly premium after subsidies was $403.

The ACA allowed states to offer Medicaid to additional populations. New York expanded Medicaid coverage effective January 1, 2014. As of September 2022, nearly 433,000 newly eligible adults were enrolled in the program.

At Medicare Rights, we applaud these advances in coverage and affordability. As additional IRA changes are implemented, their effects will be felt by more and more people with Medicare. We will continue to urge the administration and Congress to build on these successes and prioritize access to affordable, high-quality care.

Access all of the fact sheets here.

Policy Issues: Prescription Drugs
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