Here’s what the Inflation Reduction Act means for you

August 23, 2022

The $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act that has passed both the U.S. House and Senate invests billions on alternative energy programs.

And, despite its wonky name, the legislation also includes important changes to health care.

So how will it affect you?

For the first time, Medicare will be able to directly negotiate the prices of prescription drugs. As the publication Modern Healthcare reports, Big Pharma has long fought any kinds of negotiations with Medicare.

This won’t happen until 2026, however. So you won’t feel an immediate impact – but it’s a start. The Health and Human Services secretary will negotiate the prices of 10 drugs in 2026, 15 drugs in 2027 and 2028, and then 20 drugs a year from 2029 and beyond.

The bill also extends enhanced federal premium subsidies for people who purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces– which was set to end at the end of this year.  This lowers premiums for almost every American who relies on this type of coverage.

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.

Democrats tried to include a $35 per month cap on insulin for Americans of all ages. But the bill ultimately passed with a cap for Medicare patients only, starting in 2026. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-,New York, says his party will come back later this year and try again for an insulin price cap that benefits all.

Tell us how the Inflation Reduction Act will affect you. Share your story (and selfie!) with Voices for Affordable Health.