CMS: Medicare Part D beneficiaries who hit ‘doughnut hole’ saved $8.9 billion in 2013 thanks to Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON — Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The CMS said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act helped Medicare Part D beneficiaries save $8.9 billion on their prescription drugs, and they will be able to use more of their Social Security benefit cost of living adjustment as they choose because the Medicare Part B premium will not increase in 2014 thanks to the healthcare reform laws provisions for keeping down growth in costs.
According to the agency, the savings were due to more than 7.3 million Medicare Part D beneficiaries saving an average of $1,209 per person after reaching the gap in coverage known as the "donut hole," when beneficiaries must pay out of pocket for their drugs, before catastrophic coverage kicks in. Under the healthcare law, anyone with a Medicare prescription drug plan who reaches the gap gets a $250 rebate, and next year, they will receive savings of about 53% on the cost of branded drugs and 28% on the cost of generic drugs. The savings will gradually increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be closed.
During the first 10 months of 2013, nearly 3.4 million people who reached the gap have saved $2.9 billion, or $866 per beneficiary. By contrast, during the same period last year, the savings were $1.8 billion, or $677 per beneficiary.
"Protecting seniors from the dreaded donut hole and high prescription drug costs is an important Affordable Care Act reform that Medicare beneficiaries have come to depend on," CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner said. "Today’s data shows that the law is already helping millions of seniors save billions of dollars off their needed medications."
Karina Hair Accessories launches holiday collection
NEW YORK — As the glamour and glitz of the winter season approaches, women are looking for hair accessories to complement their apparel. Enter Karina Hair Accessories.
Karina Hair Accessories has announced the launch of its new Holiday Collection, offering statement pieces for every fashionista. The collection includes barrettes adorned with crystals in a variety of shapes, as well as head wraps that will bring vintage glamour to all hair styles. The combs and pins are perfect to pin back stray hairs or to accent elegant up-dos.
The Karina Holiday Collection is available at Ulta Beauty and online at Ulta.com.
NPD Group: Men’s fragrance leads way in United States, U.K.
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Men’s fragrance juice sales at prestige drove positive dollar performance for the overall fragrance category in the United States and United Kingdom between November 2012 and October 2013, according to research by The NPD Group.
Total fragrance performance was soft elsewhere in Europe, with declines across men’s and women’s offerings, primarily in the EDT segment.
“While women’s individual juices continue to be the top selling fragrance segment across the United States and Europe, new launch activity has been a boost for men’s sales across most countries,” said Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst for NPD.
In addition to men’s juice sales, the other positive growth segments for both the United States and U.K. prestige fragrance industries in the 12 months ending October 2013 were women’s juices, and both men’s and women’s fragrance gift sets. With the exception of Spain, which had declines across fragrance segments, there were segments of flat to positive performance in other European countries. Men’s gift sets were the shining star in France during this time period. In Italy, men’s juice and women’s gift sets held steady, according to NPD.
“Along with the desire to treat oneself, there is a value component that comes into play for consumers with the purchase of either fragrance gift sets or individual juices. A gift set provides consumers with a variety of formats with which to enjoy their favorite scents, and the recent popularity of larger size juices offers the ability to invest in a new or existing favorite while spending less per ounce,” Grant said. “A formula involving the right balance of value and scent-appeal will help re-energize the fragrance category for women as it is currently doing for men.”