WASHINGTON, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP is pleased that the Supreme Court found the critically important provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be constitutional. This landmark legislation is already improving the health and financial security of our members and all Americans.
AARP supported this law because it helps many Medicare recipients avoid financially burdensome increases in prescription drug costs by closing the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, or "doughnut hole." The ACA also expands the number of people eligible for free preventive and wellness benefits, and cracks down on Medicare fraud, waste and abuse. Finally, for those not yet eligible for Medicare, the ACA will be instrumental in eliminating discriminatory health insurance practices such as exclusions based on pre-existing conditions, and in limiting the use of age rating to charge exorbitant premiums for older Americans.
By starting to close the doughnut hole, 5.3 million people with Medicare Part D have saved $3.7 billion since the law was enacted. In the first five months of 2012, 745,000 people with Medicare saved a total of $485.3 million on prescription drugs in the doughnut hole coverage gap for an average of $651 in savings per person this year. Over 32.5 million Americans in Medicare used one or more free preventive services in 2011. And, over 2.2 million people with traditional Medicare benefited from the new Annual Wellness Visit in 2011.
We are analyzing the entire decision, including the Medicaid portion of the Supreme Court's decision, to understand what it means for affordable healthcare coverage moving forward.
We know that our more than 37 million members, and Americans generally, want to know how these provisions affect them now and moving forward. That is why we developed the AARP Health Law Guide (www.aarp.org/healthlawguide) and other resources to help Americans understand their benefits now and in the future.
"We are pleased that the Supreme Court found the majority of the Affordable Care Act constitutional," said AARP CEO A. Barry Rand. "We look forward to the continued implementation of this critically important legislation so that millions of Americans can continue to receive the benefits it provides. AARP will continue to be a source of information and support as Americans navigate the benefits of the law."
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with millions of members that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans 50+ and the world's largest-circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for the 50+ audience, AARP VIVA, a bilingual lifestyle multimedia platform addressing the interests and needs of Hispanic Americans; and national television and radio programming including My Generation and Inside E Street. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.