Inflation Reduction Act

The official 2024 ACA Open Enrollment Period (OEP) ended last night in most states, but millions of Americans are still eligible to #GetCovered!

This is the best OEP ever for the ACA for several reasons:

  • A dozen states are either launching or expanding their own state-based subsidy programs to make ACA plans even more affordable for their enrollees;

And remember, millions of people will be eligible for zero premium comprehensive major medical policies.

If you've never enrolled in an ACA healthcare policy before, or if you looked into it a few years back but weren't impressed, please give it another shot now. Thanks to these major improvements it's a whole different ballgame.

Here's some important things to know when you #GetCovered for 2024:

via U.S. News:

Managing diabetes will be a less expensive proposition for more Americans in 2024.

Sanofi has officially joined Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly in lowering the cost of insulin to $35 a month for many patients. The three drug makers are also drastically lowering the list prices for their insulin products.

The price-cutting moves were first announced last spring, but some of them didn’t take effect until Jan. 1.

...Over 8 million Americans need insulin to survive, but up to a quarter of those patients haven't been able to afford the medication and have dangerously rationed doses, according to the ADA.

Now, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare enrollees pay no more than $35 a month for their insulin prescriptions.

The 2024 ACA Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is STILL ongoing in 49 states +DC.

This is the best OEP ever for the ACA for several reasons:

  • A dozen states are either launching or expanding their own state-based subsidy programs to make ACA plans even more affordable for their enrollees;

And remember, millions of people will be eligible for zero premium comprehensive major medical policies.

If you've never enrolled in an ACA healthcare policy before, or if you looked into it a few years back but weren't impressed, please give it another shot now. Thanks to these major improvements it's a whole different ballgame.

Here's some important things to know when you #GetCovered for 2024:

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

For the first time, Medicare is able to directly negotiate the prices of prescription drugs due to President Biden’s prescription drug law, the Inflation Reduction Act. Today, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure issued the following statement on the announcement that the drug companies that manufacture all 10 drugs selected for the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program for the first cycle have chosen to participate in the Negotiation Program. The negotiations with participating drug companies for the selected drugs will occur in 2023 and 2024 with the negotiated prices effective beginning in 2026. 

Yesterday the U.S. Census Bureau published new reports on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States as of 2022. Obviously all three of these are extremely important and interact closely with each other, but given that my focus is healthcare policy, I'm going to stick with the health insurance coverage portion.

According to the 2023 Current Population Survey Annual Social & Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC):

...92.1% of the U.S. population had health insurance coverage for all or part of 2022 (compared to 91.7% in 2021). An estimated 25.9 million or 7.9% of people did not have health insurance at any point during 2022, according to the 2023 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC). That compares to 27.2 million or 8.3% of people who did not have health insurance at any point during 2021.

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

Inflation Reduction Act Continues to Lower Out-of-Pocket Prescription Drug Costs for Drugs with Price Increases Above Inflation

  • CMS announces savings for some people with Medicare on 34 Part B prescription drugs

A continuing key priority of the Biden-Harris Administration is lowering prescription drug costs for seniors and families. Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the list of 34 prescription drugs for which Part B beneficiary coinsurances may be lower between October 1 – December 31, 2023. Some people with Medicare who take these drugs may save between $1 and $618 per average dose starting October 1, 2023, depending on their individual coverage. Through the Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden and his Administration are lowering prescription drug costs for millions of American seniors and their families. 

via the Maryland Insurance Administration:

Aetna CVS Health will join Maryland Health Exchange individual market in 2024

BALTIMORE – Aetna, a CVS Health company, has filed to offer its Aetna CVS Health individual health plans through Maryland Health Connection in 2024, giving consumers across Maryland another option for health coverage through the state-maintained marketplace.

“This is great news for the individuals and families who choose their health insurance coverage through the Maryland Health Connection marketplace,” said Governor Wes Moore. “It is vitally important for consumers to have choices to select the best plan for their needs. Maryland continues to be a national leader in maintaining a robust, affordable marketplace.”

Currently, three insurers – CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare – offer individual market health plans through Maryland Health Connection.

via the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS):

For the first time, Medicare will be able to negotiate prices directly with drug companies, lowering prices on some of the costliest prescription drugs.

For the first time, thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act – the historic law lowering health care costs – Medicare is able to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs. Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced the first 10 drugs covered under Medicare Part D selected for negotiation. The negotiations with participating drug companies will occur in 2023 and 2024, and any negotiated prices will become effective beginning in 2026. Medicare enrollees taking the 10 drugs covered under Part D selected for negotiation paid a total of $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs in 2022 for these drugs.

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (note: this press release actually came out on August 16th):

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was signed into law on August 16, 2022. The new law provides meaningful financial relief for millions of people with Medicare by improving access to affordable treatments and strengthening the Medicare Program both now and in the long run. The law makes improvements to Medicare by expanding benefits, lowering drug costs, keeping prescription drug premiums stable, and improving the strength of the Medicare program. The law also extends enhanced financial help to purchase HealthCare.gov and state-based Marketplace plans and expands access to Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended vaccines for adults with Medicaid coverage. 

Specifically, the Inflation Reduction Act:

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