This summer marks another successful anniversary for Social Security and Medicare as Social Security turns 83 and Medicare turns 53.
Fifteen years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act which, among other things, created Medicare Part D to cover outpatient prescription drugs. Today, more than 40 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.
Prescription drug programs that automatically ship out refills at regular intervals can help older Americans follow doctor's orders, according to business organizations that are lobbying against a Medicare crackdown on the practice.
Medicare's popular prescription drug program, Part D, covers more than 35 million people and a billion prescriptions annually, but Medicare has never monitored which doctors may be overprescribing medications that are risky for older adults - namely, drugs that are disorienting, addictive or harmful.
Good news everyone! There's a new report that shows lots of people saving good cash on prescription drugs because of the Affordable Care Act. The Health and Human Services department reports that seniors have saved around $5.7 billion since January of 2011. This is largely due to the closing of the doughnut hole. While everyone who qualifies saves money, it really benefited those with chronic conditions. HHS has projected that savings per Medicare beneficiary will be about $5,000 through the next 10 years, with those dealing with chronic conditions saving as much as three times more.
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