This New Law Lowers Costs for Insulin, Vaccines, and Other Prescription Drugs

In August of 2022, Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act which will lower the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.  The purpose of this Act was to lower the price for many Americans paying for prescriptions that have become wildly expensive due to drug manufacturers’ greed.

The IRA caps costs for insulin for all Medicare beneficiaries in 2023. Part D plans cannot charge more than $35 for a one-month supply of each Medicare Part D-covered insulin. Your plan cannot charge a deductible for insulin either.  

Beneficiaries with Part D Prescription Drug coverage will also pay $0 out of pocket for recommended adult vaccines. For example, the shingles vaccine will be much less expensive and will be more available to Medicare beneficiaries.

Why Didn’t the IRA Lower Insulin for All Americans?

These are great steps in the right direction for preventing drug manufacturers from doing whatever they please. There were hopes that this $35 insulin cap would be for all Americans.  However, the proposal failed in the Senate to garner enough GOP support, with 43 Republicans voting against it.

To see all the upcoming California Medicare Trends for 2023, check out this blog.

Here is a message from Joe Biden’s and the White House:

“On August 16, 2022, I signed Public Law 117-169, commonly referred to as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), which will lower the cost of prescription drugs and save millions of Americans hundreds or thousands of dollars per year.  The IRA will protect Medicare beneficiaries from catastrophic drug costs by phasing in a cap for out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy and establishing a $35 monthly cap per prescription for insulin covered by a Medicare prescription drug plan and insulin delivered through traditional pumps.  Starting this January, Medicare beneficiaries with prescription drug coverage will pay $0 out of pocket for recommended adult vaccines (including the shingles vaccine).  The IRA will also require certain companies to pay Medicare rebates if they increase the prices of drugs used by Medicare beneficiaries faster than the rate of inflation.  In addition, the Secretary of HHS (Secretary) will be able to negotiate prices for selected high-cost prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries for the first time ever.  Following the passage of the IRA, HHS has taken critical steps to swiftly implement these historic provisions in order to deliver results and lower health care costs for the American people.”