Michigan’s U.S. senators are touting the benefits of Medicare price reforms approved by Congress, which take effect beginning this week.
Democratic U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters note that Medicare now caps the cost of insulin at $35 a month and offers free access to vaccines covered under Part D. The law was included as part of the Inflation Reduction Act that passed in August.
“No one should have to choose between getting the health care and prescription drugs they need and putting food on the table,” Senator Peters said in a statement. “There’s no question that’s a reality too many Michiganders face. That’s why I’m pleased help is on the way and starting January 1st insulin will be no more than $35 a month for seniors on Medicare and vaccines will be fully covered — with no out-of-pocket costs.”
“This year, Senator Peters and I stood up to Big Pharma and won—passing laws to lower the cost of health care in Michigan. On January 1, the price of insulin will immediately drop for seniors on Medicare and they will not have to pay for their vaccines,” Senator Stabenow added.
Experts say most people on Medicare do not pay a premium for hospital stays because it’s covered through past payroll taxes. But recipients who did not work long enough will see a slight increase in those premiums.
Deductibles and co-pays for most outpatient treatment will slightly drop except for some recipients with higher incomes. Drug companies must also pay a rebate to the federal government if prices for prescriptions covered by Medicare rise faster than inflation.
Some congressional Republicans and advocates for the pharmaceutical industry have complained the changes in drug pricing could cost companies so much that it will limit their ability to develop new medications.