Overhaul coming for U.S. Medicare system

Medicare overhaul
Medicare overhaul(DC Bureau)
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:28 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The Inflation Reduction Act is a wide sweeping law, but it will make very specific changes to the U.S. Medicare system over the next several years.

The Better Medicare Alliance said one of the most important changes is capping out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs at $2,000.

“Many of these Medicare beneficiaries take several drugs for different complex conditions,” Better Medicare Alliance Vice President of Policy and Research Greg Gierer said. “They could spend $4,000, $5,000, potentially unlimited amounts every year.

Changes to Medicare also include a price cap on insulin costs and making certain vaccines free.

AARP said that is especially useful for older citizens.

“One example is the shingles vaccine, which older Americans need, and those can cost $300 a shot,” AARP Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Bill Sweeny said. “So starting in January, those are going to be free, and that’s going to be great news for older Americans in this country.

Beginning in 2026 the government will begin negotiating drug price points for certain drugs covered by Medicare, which the Better Medicare Alliance says will save the taxpayer dollars.

“Estimates are that those provisions in total could reduce federal spending by $300 billion over a ten-year period, so very significant savings there,” Gierer said.

Medicare recipients do not need to make any changes to receive the new benefits.

They will phase in automatically in the next few years.