Closing ‘donut hole’ saved $987 per Fla. beneficiary in ’15, feds say

donutClosing the “donut hole” saved the average Florida Medicare beneficiary $987 on drugs last year, federal officials said Tuesday.

The Affordable Care Act saved 355,360 people in the state $351 million in 2015 and almost $1.4 billion since 2010 on Medicare Part D costs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said. The donut hole refers to a gap in coverage where folks previously had to pay full cost for some prescriptions out of pocket.

It’s unlikely to make Obamacare critics order up a round of Krispy Kremes to salute the administration. Bloggers in National Review have said such savings come with “unintended consequences and hidden costs,” such as higher taxes and premiums for those with higher incomes.

But federal officials said it is evidence the law is working.

“Medicare consumers are now more engaged and empowered in their own health thanks to the Affordable Care Act,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt. “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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