Affordable Care Act Saved V.I. Seniors $4.6 Million So Far

V.I. Medicare beneficiaries saved $4.56 million on prescription drugs since 2010 due to the federal Affordable Care Act, and 11,008 V.I. Medicare beneficiaries used free preventive services in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2015 alone, 1,428 people with Medicare in Virgin Islands saved $1.5 million, for an average of $1,082 per Medicare beneficiary, as a result of the ACA closing a prescription drug coverage gap, or "donut hole," in Medicare Part D, HHS officials said in a statement released Monday.

Other impacts of the law in the USVI include the 11,008 residents with Medicare, including those enrolled in Medicare Advantage, who took advantage of at least one preventive service with no coinsurance in 2015. Also, 1,804 V.I. Medicare beneficiaries took advantage of a covered annual wellness visit in 2015.

Those are the local figures. Nationwide, nearly 10.7 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts of more than $20.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $1,945 per beneficiary since the ACA’s enactment. In 2015, almost 5.2 million seniors and people with disabilities received discounts of more than $5.4 billion, for an average of $1,054 per beneficiary. This is up from 2014, when 5.1 million Medicare beneficiaries received discounts of $4.8 billion, for an average of $941 per beneficiary.

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Nationally, about 39.2 million people with Medicare took advantage of at least one preventive service with no copays or deductibles in 2015, slightly more than in 2014.

Nearly 9 million Medicare beneficiaries took an annual wellness visit in 2015.

"Medicare consumers are now more engaged and empowered in their own health thanks to the Affordable Care Act," Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said in Monday’s statement. "Millions are now able to access more affordable prescription medicine for their chronic conditions and millions more are staying healthier by accessing preventive services, especially vital for people living with disabilities or growing older."

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