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The Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare and helps seniors take charge of their health. The law provides important benefits such as free preventive services, free annual wellness visits, and a 50% discount on prescription drugs for Medicare recipients in the coverage gap known as the "donut hole." And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is stronger than ever. In 2012, seniors will continue to have access to Medicare Advantage and more affordable prescription drugs through Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (also known as Medicare Part D).

In South Carolina in 2012:

• 100% of people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t charge a premium
• 32 Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) available
• 88% of people with Part D have access to a plan with a lower premium than what they paid in 2011
• 43% of people with Medicare Part D get Extra Help (also called the low-income subsidy, or LIS)
• 15 PDPs have $0 deductibles
• $15.10 is the lowest monthly premium for a prescription drug plan
• $61.60 is the lowest monthly premium for a prescription drug plan with coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap
• 12 PDPs have a premium of $0 for people who qualify for Extra Help

Plan costs and coverage change each year, so all people with Medicare should check to make sure their plan still meets their health needs and budget. There may be a Medicare health or drug plan available with better coverage or a lower premium in 2012.

New Affordable Care Act Benefits

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare are seeing reduced costs — through both discounts on brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D "donut hole" and a provision in the law that makes preventive services like mammograms and other cancer screenings available for free. Over 380,795 people in South Carolina in Original Medicare have used at least one free preventive service through August of this year. Over 18,059 people in South Carolina have saved a total of $9,454,603 through July of this year when they hit the prescription drug donut hole.


CMS Publication: State Health Facts 2012

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