Benefit included in Health Care Reform Bill
Washington, D.C.?Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced today more than 2500 First District seniors have received $250 checks to help cover the cost of prescription drugs when they fall into the Medicare Part D "donut hole." These checks were included in the health reform bill, the Affordable Care Act, which was passed earlier this year, and is one of the first immediate benefits of the law. As of October 1, 2010, 2,520 seniors in the First District have received a $250 check to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs. By the end of this year, an additional 8,480 First District seniors are expected to fall into the "donut hole" and receive the benefits.
"One of the greatest benefits of the health care bill is that Iowa's seniors will no longer be left hanging in the Medicare Part D 'donut hole,'" said Braley. "By the end of the year, more than 11,000 seniors across the First District will receive these checks, helping them defray the costs of life-saving drugs. The Medicare Part D donut hole put a terrible burden on many Iowa seniors and I'm proud to have supported this legislation that provides a direct benefit to Iowa's seniors."
The numbers were released Monday as part of a report issued by the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Braley is a member of the Committee. The report is available here.
Beginning in January 2011, all seniors in the donut hole will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs. These discounts will save seniors in the First District $5.8 million next year. The discount on brand-name drugs increases to 52.5 percent in 2013 and to 55 percent in 2015. The savings continue to grow until the donut hole is completely eliminated for both brand-name and generic drugs in 2019.
For more information, visit http://braley.house.gov.