How and When Will the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Affect Healthcare for Tennesseans?
On Sunday August 7th, 2022, the U.S. Senate approved a sweeping package that includes lowering healthcare costs. The bill went to the House of Representatives and was approved on Friday, August 12, 2022. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was signed into law by President Biden yesterday, August 16th, 2022.
Here are several of the bill’s provisions that could positively affect our seniors, especially those Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries:
This Act is expected to be a step toward creating more affordability for seniors paying for prescriptions. Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans stated, “…One in four Americans reports not taking at least one drug as prescribed because they can’t afford it…”. Due to the high cost of drugs seniors may be skipping or reducing doses to keep their medications affordable. The bill sets an out-of-pocket cap transition that begins in 2024 that decreases to $2000 per year in 2025 to ease financial burden for Medicare beneficiaries. This cap may help make medications more affordable for some older adults.
Insulin costs are to be reduced. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services lists that 1 in 3 Medicare beneficiaries has a diabetes diagnosis and more than 3.3 million beneficiaries use insulin. The bill aims to cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month in 2023 preventing these individuals from reaching other phases of their drug coverage, namely the gap and catastrophic responsibility portions. In addition, adult vaccines which beneficiaries now pay for will be free for seniors and those receiving Medicaid beginning in 2023.
Medicare drug prices can be negotiated. Among other provisions, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 gives Medicare the ability to negotiate the price of certain prescription drugs and would require drug companies to pay back price increases that are higher than inflation. These negotiated prices will target certain more expensive medications. This may result in reduced out-of-pocket expenses especially for Medicare beneficiaries.
Also, Affordable Care Act premium subsidies are to be extended through 2025 for those who purchase healthcare insurance through The Marketplace.
Tennesseans may start seeing changes, as noted above, as early as next year and continuing over the next several years. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 seems a step toward assisting Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance beneficiaries purchasing through The Marketplace with certain high medication and healthcare-related costs.
Interested in learning more about the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022? Click here for a summary of the Act.
At Care Around the Block, we advocate for our clients’ well-being and assist them to navigate the healthcare system. If you are overwhelmed by healthcare-related challenges and are unsure of options or next steps, give us a call at 865-444-6787 for a free consultation to see how our Care Management services may be of benefit to you.