The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has reached its first milestone – its one year anniversary. With that, it’s time to consider what it has accomplished, as well as changes that have yet to arrive. One of the IRA’s major selling points was the ability to cap insulin prices for Part D Medicare beneficiaries. What was previously so expensive that news outlets reported individuals choosing between insulin and having three meals a day has now been capped at a much more affordable $35. The IRA has also expanded access to programs like LIS or Extra Help for low-income individuals, and covered ACIP recommended vaccines.
However, there are still more hurdles to clear. Although the IRA allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, those negotiations and price changes are years down the line. Drug prices remain a challenge for many older adults with small income. AARP reports that the top 25 drugs in the United States have all increased by three times the price they were when they entered the market.
Although the IRA has brought new hope to Medicare beneficiaries, it has a long way to go before its changes are fully realized. It’s likely to face more court challenges and lawsuits, but for the time being, older adults can take advantage of their expanded benefits.