Upcoming review for the US Medicare system

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) — The Inflation Reduction Act is far-reaching legislation, but it will bring very specific changes to the U.S. health insurance system over the next few years.

The Better Medicare Alliance said one of the biggest changes is capping out-of-pocket prescription drug spending at $2,000.

“Many of these Medicare beneficiaries are on multiple medications for different complex conditions,” said Greg Gierer, Better Medicare Alliance vice president of policy and research. “They could spend $4,000, $5,000, potentially unlimited amounts every year.

Medicare changes also include a price cap on insulin and some vaccines being free.

AARP said it was especially helpful for seniors.

“One example is the shingles vaccine, which older Americans need, and those can cost $300 a shot,” said AARP Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Bill Sweeny. “So starting in January, those will be free, and that will be great news for older Americans in this country.

Starting in 2026, the government will begin negotiating drug prices for some Medicare-covered drugs, which the Better Medicare Alliance says will save taxpayers money.

“It’s estimated that these provisions in total could reduce federal spending by $300 billion over a ten-year period, so very significant savings there,” Gierer said.

Medicare beneficiaries do not need to make any changes to receive the new benefits.

They will be implemented automatically over the next few years.

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