Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Reduces Cost Burdens for Cancer Patients
Legislation would limit Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses and continues the enhanced premium subsidies for ACA health plans.
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 5, 2022 — The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 introduced in the Senate earlier this week includes two provisions that will help cancer patients better afford their care and coverage. The Act places a $2,000 annual cap on Medicare Part D beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses and allows these expenses to be spread out — or smoothed — throughout the plan year.
“It is unthinkable that for more than 15 years, Medicare Part D beneficiaries have all but stood alone as the one group of people without the plan protection of an out-of-pocket cap,” said Debbie Weir, CEO of the Cancer Support Community.
For too long — since 2006, when Medicare Part D took effect — the lack of an out-of-pocket cap has limited access to cancer treatments by imposing burdensome and often insurmountable prescription drug costs on Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
Cancer patients are two and a half times more likely to file bankruptcy than people without cancer. Furthermore, patients 70 years of age or older are particularly susceptible to financial toxicity, which can negatively affect a patient’s quality of life and health outcomes.
The Cancer Support Community also applauds the Act’s three-year extension of enhanced premium tax credits for ACA marketplace plans, making health care coverage accessible for millions of individuals who would otherwise not be able to afford it.
Weir added, “Legislation that limits out-of-pocket expenses for Part D prescription drugs and eases the cost of purchasing comprehensive health insurance for millions of people will improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and our greater society.”
About the Cancer Support Community
As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC), including its Gilda’s Club network partners, is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. CSC achieves its mission through three areas: direct service delivery, research, and advocacy. The organization’s Institute for Excellence in Psychosocial Care includes an international network that offers the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer, as well as a community of support available online and over the phone. The Research and Training Institute conducts cutting-edge psychosocial, behavioral, and survivorship research. CSC furthers its focus on patient advocacy through its Cancer Policy Institute, informing public policy in Washington, D.C. and across the nation.