HHS: Seniors saved $11.5 billion on meds since 2010
WASHINGTON — New numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services released as Medicare turns 49 are showing it is getting better with age.
Since the Affordable Care Act was signed in 2010, more than 8 million older and disabled Americans with Medicare benefits have saved $11.5 billion on prescription drugs.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, seniors and people with disabilities are saving on needed medications,” HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said. “By making prescription drugs more affordable, we are improving and promoting the best care for people with Medicare.”
The savings have come partially from provisions in the Affordable Care Act that are meant to minimize the Medicare coverage gap requiring people to pay full price for prescription. Other rebates for prescription drugs have contributed to the savings.
These numbers accompany news that the Medicare Trust Fund will last through 2030, and news that for the second year, Part B premiums will stay the same. This is all happening as growth in spending hovers around 2% annual from 2009-2012.
AAP updates meningitis vaccine recommendations
WASHINGTON — The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its recommendations on the use of meningococcal vaccines in children and adolescents, according to the online issue of Pediatrics.
The AAP now recommends an age-appropriate meningococcal conjugate vaccine instead of the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine for children and adolescents, according to the policy statement.
Individuals ages 11 to 12 years should be immunized and given a booster once they reach 16 years of age. Unvaccinated or first-year college students who had received vaccines before the age of 21 living in dorms who received their last dose before their 16th birthday should also receive a single dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine.
The complete update can be viewed here.