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Big changes coming to Medicare, including the ability to negotiate drug prices

Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 10:26am

Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a bill that includes several key provisions to lower the prices of prescription drugs.

The bill caps out-of-pocket drug costs to $2,000 a year for older adults on Medicare, and it will let Medicare negotiate what it pays for certain drugs.

"It's huge," said Dana Marie Kennedy, the state director of AARP Arizona. "This is kind of unfinished business from Medicare Part D, which they passed in 2003, which basically, they inserted language that didn't allow the federal government to negotiate for the lowest costs."

Kennedy says price negotiations will start with around 10 medications. "And so it'll allow the federal government to negotiate — HHS — just like they do for the VA."

The bill will also cap the cost of insulin.

"And so it will be capped at $35 per month for co-pays for people who have Part D and Medicare."

Democrats wanted to extend the $35 cap to private insurers but it ran afoul of Senate rules.

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