Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama

How the Health Care Law Benefits Seniors and Improves Medicare

  • Reduces prescription drug costs for seniors.  Since the health care law was enacted, more than 7.3 million seniors in the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ coverage gap have saved $8.9 billion on prescription drugs, an average savings of $1,209 per person.  The health care law completely closes the donut hole by 2020.  It is estimated that seniors in the ‘donut hole’ will save an average of over $18,000 on their Rx drugs from the law’s enactment through 2022.      
  • Provides free Medicare coverage of key preventive services,such as mammograms and colonoscopies.  Before reform, some services could have a co-pay as high as $160.  In 2012, 34.1 million seniors received one or more free preventive services.  In the first six months of 2013, 16.5 million seniors had already received one or more of these free services.
  • Provides a free Annual Wellness Visit under Medicare.  More than 4.4 million seniors have already had a free Annual Wellness Visit under Medicare.   
  • Provides additional savings for seniors, including stable and lower premiums and a lower deductible. Premiums for Medicare Part B have either decreased or stayed the same for the past three years.  In addition, the average premium for Medicare Advantage enrollees in 2013 is actually 10 percent lower than in 2010.  Also, the Medicare Part B deductible is $15 lower in 2014 than the deductible in 2011.         
  • Strengthens Medicare and extends the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by nearly a decade.  The law’s reforms strengthen solvency by squeezing waste out of the system and making it more efficient, without reducing benefits. 
  • Provides new tools and enhanced authority to crack down on fraud in Medicare, and, over the last four years, a joint anti-Medicare fraud task force of HHS and the Department of Justice has recovered nearly $15 billion in fraudulent Medicare payments on behalf of taxpayers, doubling the amount recovered over the four years prior – and the anti-fraud crackdown continues.