Medicare Drug Costs Going Down for Seniors

Photo (cc) by 401(K) 2013

Older and disabled Americans using Medicare will save on drugs next year because the program’s getting cheaper, according to a statement the government released Friday…

For the first time since the inception of the program the 2014 defined standard Part D prescription drug benefit will have lower co-payments and a lower deductible than in 2013. These costs are decreasing at the same time that coverage for Medicare beneficiaries in the Part D prescription drug coverage gap, or “donut hole” will continue to increase in 2014. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, in 2014, enrollees with liability in the donut hole will receive coverage and discounts of 52.5 percent on covered brand name drugs and 28 percent on covered generic drugs.

The standard deductible will drop to $310 next year, down from $325 this year. The out-of-pocket threshold will drop 200 bucks to $4,550.

The government will also begin requiring Part D plan pharmacies to get Medicare beneficiaries’ consent before refilling prescriptions, to cut down on unwanted automatic refills.

Bloomberg reported that Medicare spending grew last year at the slowest rate (3 percent) in over 10 years. It’s not clear whether the Affordable Care Act or the recession is responsible.

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