Asked how the 2020 estimates would compare today, HHS officials said with the continual growth in the Medicare-eligible population, there are more enrolled now, but the federal agency had no estimate of how many enrollees are taking insulin in 2023.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a press release, “Thanks to this historic law, people who get their insulin through Medicare won’t have to pay more than $35 for a month’s supply. No one should have to skip or ration their insulin because they can’t afford it.”
The Jan. 1 provision applied to Medicare Part D, and on July 1 the provision will apply to Medicare Part B. The law also provides recommended vaccines for free, including the shingles vaccine, and rebates on prescriptions when rates are higher than the rate of inflation to those enrolled in Medicaid.
Additionally, with the Inflation Reduction Act, the government gained the ability to negotiate drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies. HHS says they are in the early stages of beginning that work and have not yet decided which drugs they will negotiate prices on. The benefits of those negotiations are expected to begin in 2026.
“Over the course of the next couple of years the process will go into effect and launch,” Becerra said during a White House press call. “This year, we will have the opportunity at HHS to determine the first 10 drugs that will undergo this negotiation.”
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