​Inflation Reduction Act tackles health care affordability

By Regence
September 22, 2022

The recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes landmark health care provisions to help make health care more affordable, including lowering prescription drug prices and extending health insurance premium subsidies.

Lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries

Under the new law, Medicare will be able to directly negotiate with manufacturers on the prices of certain prescription drugs. The Health and Human Services secretary will negotiate the prices of 10 drugs in 2023, with negotiated prices going into effect in 2026 and will work up to negotiating the prices of 20 drugs by 2029.

The bill also caps the out-of-pocket cost of prescriptions for seniors at $2,000 a year, starting in 2025. And seniors can get free vaccines. Visit the Regence Health Policy Center for a more detailed summary of the law’s prescription drug provisions.

Help paying for health insurance for exchange members

Premiums reflect the cost of care. When doctors, hospital systems and drug makers raise prices, everyone pays more. For those who buy coverage through HealthCare.gov or their state’s health insurance exchange, the Inflation Reduction Act allows households that get help paying for health insurance to continue to qualify for subsidies that were set to expire at the end of 2022.

Regence programs make care more affordable for everyone

The Inflation Reduction Act premium subsidies are welcome news for families who get health insurance on the marketplace and Medicare beneficiaries.

We remain committed to addressing the high cost of health care – the underlying factor that drives increases in health insurance premiums and patients’ out-of-pocket costs. This includes negotiating with doctors, hospital systems and drug makers to try to control what they charge for care and services. In addition, our cost stewardship programs saved our members and employer customers $780 million in 2021.

The Affordable Care Act expanded access to health insurance coverage and this year the national uninsured rate reached an all-time low. We look forward to working with policymakers to address health reform’s unfinished business of tackling health care costs.