Biden-Harris Advance Medicare Drug Price Talks, Lower Women’s Health Costs

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TL/DR –

The Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare drug price negotiations will lower the cost of prescription drugs for millions of women in the US, according to new research from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS). The report shows that in 2020 alone, around 733,000 women enrolled in Medicare would have benefited from a $35 per month cap on cost sharing for insulin products, and in 2021, approximately two million women would have had no out-of-pocket costs for recommended vaccines. The law also means that by 2025, nearly one million women who are not enrolled in the Extra Help program could save over $1,000.


The Inflation Reduction Act’s Impact on Medicare Drug Prices

The Inflation Reduction Act is set to lower Medicare drug prices, affecting millions of women’s prescription costs. This comes as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) unveils new research. It illustrates how the Act’s provisions will reduce expenses for nearly 30 million women enrolled in Medicare Part D. Concurrently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are advancing further discussions with all manufacturers participating in Medicare drug price negotiations.

ASPE Findings on Medicare Part D and Part B

In 2020, approximately 733,000 women enrolled in Medicare Part D and Part B would have profited from the $35 per month cap on cost sharing for Medicare-covered insulin products, under the Inflation Reduction Act. Also, in 2021, about two million women would have had no out-of-pocket costs for recommended Part D covered adult vaccines. Thanks to the law’s redesign of Medicare Part D, about 857,000 women not enrolled in the Extra Help program are projected to save $1,000 or more in 2025.

Healthcare Accessibility and Affordability

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra praised the Inflation Reduction Act for making prescription drugs more affordable for women with Medicare. He emphasized that the direct negotiations with pharmaceutical manufacturers will lead to additional savings in the future. CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure also lauded the Act’s role in lowering healthcare costs and bridging the gap for women affected by high healthcare expenses.

ASPE Key Findings

Among Medicare enrollees, women have higher rates of certain health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, osteoporosis, and specific types of cancer, leading to high prescription drug costs. The Inflation Reduction Act will notably benefit them through lower drug costs and caps on annual out-of-pocket costs. Furthermore, women make up a disproportionate number of Medicare enrollees in the Extra Help program, and the Act’s expansion of this program’s benefits will be significant. Lastly, in 2021, nearly two million women received one of the recommended vaccines that are now free for people with Medicare.

Learn more about how the Inflation Reduction Act will help women here.

For additional information about the Inflation Reduction Act and its impact on Medicare costs, visit LowerDrugCosts.gov.


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