New Federal Law Takes on Health Care Costs

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)was signed into law by President Biden on Tuesday, August 16.  It passed the Senate and House by the slimmest of margins, with unanimous support from Congressional Democrats and no Republican votes.  In addition to landmark climate change provisions, the bill will help millions of Americans with health care affordability.

All along, Universal had advocated for two main policies in the bill, and both of them passed.

Affordability for ACA Marketplace Plans

The IRA extends the enhanced subsidies that help people afford to buy health coverage through Access Health CT, Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace for three more years.  The subsidies were set to expire at the end of 2022.  Close to 85% of people who purchase insurance through Access Health CT receive some level of federal subsidy, and 21,000 people would have lost their subsidies entirely, if the bill hadn’t passed.  So, this is a really big deal. 

Prescription Drug Affordability

The bill makes great strides on prescription drug affordability.  Three of the many changes in the bill are:

  • Medicare will finally have the ability to negotiate prescription drug prices. 
  • Medicare recipients will be protected from spending more than $2,000 out-of-pocket on prescription drugs. 
  • Starting in 2023, drug manufacturers will be penalized if they raise the price of drugs above the rate of inflation.  And premiums for prescription drug coverage.

It is important to note that these provisions help people on Medicare, so there is still much left to do to address prescription drug affordability for people on private insurance.   

Take Action:  Call your US Senators and House Rep. and thank them.

To learn more about the prescription drug affordability provisions in the bill and when they go into effect, go HERE