(HealthDay)—In 2013, 4.3 million seniors and people with disabilities saved an estimated $3.9 billion on prescription drugs, an increase from the 2012 savings, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, 7.9 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved $9.9 billion on prescription drugs, equivalent to $1,265 per beneficiary. In 2013, 4.3 million beneficiaries saved $3.9 billion, equivalent to $911 per beneficiary, which represented an increase from 2012 when 3.5 million beneficiaries saved $2.5 billion, representing average savings of $706 per beneficiary.
As well as savings on prescription drugs, use of preventive services has increased among those with Medicare, with an estimated 37.2 million Medicare beneficiaries (including 26.5 million with traditional Medicare) taking advantage of at least one preventive service with no cost sharing in 2013. This included more than four million people who took advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit in 2013. These figures reflect an increase from 2012 when an estimated 34.1 million people with Medicare, including 26.1 with traditional Medicare, received one or more preventive benefit.
"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we saw a stronger Medicare program in 2013," Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. "Seniors are saving billions of dollars on their needed medications and continuing to enjoy benefits that will lead to healthier lives and lower costs in the long run."