Maui Medicare Recipients Save $181,000

July 31, 2012, 9:43 AM HST · Updated July 31, 12:56 PM
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By Reid Cairme  (***Reid is a news/media intern, from Kamehameha Schools – Maui.  Edited by Wendy Osher, News Director)

More than 500 people on Maui with Medicare saved more than $181,000 on prescription drugs in the first six months of 2012, according to numbers released on Monday.

Statewide, the same report showed that more than 6,000 people in Hawaii with Medicare saved more than $1.8 million on prescription drugs over the same period, said Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono in an announcement.

The data was compiled and released in conjunction with Medicare’s 47’s anniversary.

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“Medicare has made a critical difference in seniors’ lives for nearly half a century,” said Congresswoman Hirono. “The hundreds of thousands of people with Medicare in Hawaii deserve better,” said Rep. Hirono.

The savings, Rep. Hirono said, originated from the changes made in the health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act.

These changes, she said, closed the coverage gap in prescription drugs created when Medicare recipients reach their coverage limit and are forced to pay full price.

Medicare beneficiaries in this situation are receiving a 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs, and a 14% discount on generic drugs.

Discounts will continue to increase each year until 2020, when the coverage gap is expected to be fully closed.

***Supporting information courtesy Office of Rep. Mazie Hirono. 

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