CMS Administrator Seema Verma ‘worked hard’ to evolve Medicare’s ‘Senior Savings Model’.
Thanks to President Donald Trump’s Indian American adviser on healthcare, Seema Verma, senior citizens with diabetes would see their Medicare insulin bills capped at just $35 a month.
Trump announced what he called a “breakthrough agreement to dramatically slash the out-of-pocket cost of insulin” at a White House Rose Garden event Tuesday.
“For hundreds and thousands of seniors enrolled in Medicare — that’s a big deal — participating plans will cap cost at just $35 a month per type of insulin, and some plans may offer it free,” he said.
“This is a big day for seniors,” Trump said effusively thanking Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), for “working hard on this day.”
“Seema, I want to thank you because you brought this to my attention a long time ago, and you worked very hard on this day,” he said.
“One in every three seniors on Medicare has diabetes, and over 3.3 million beneficiaries use at least one type of insulin,” Trump noted.
“Over the past 10 years, these seniors have seen their out-of-pocket costs for this lifesaving treatment almost double,” he said.
“Nothing will ever stop me from fulfilling my solemn duty to America’s seniors,” Trump said vowing to “use every power at my disposal to lower drug prices.
Verma, who is also a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, thanked Trump for being “steadfast in his commitment to lowering the cost of drugs and protecting the Medicare program and making sure it works best for seniors.”
“We’re putting money back in the pockets of seniors,” she said explaining features of the “Senior Savings Model” of the Medicare program.
“And that means $3 billion in savings for patients and $6 billion in savings for taxpayers.”
“We are waiving Obamacare laws that dis-incentivize plans from lowering cost sharing for Medicare beneficiaries,” Verma said.
Verma noted “that we have over 88 health plans that are participating in this model, and that represents over 1,750 plans that will offer this low-cost insulin.”
These plans will be available during this year’s open enrollment, which starts in October, she said.
Verma thanked “the manufacturers and the health plans for stepping up to the plate, for coming together to negotiate this great Senior Savings Model.”
“It’s going to make such a difference to the lives of many seniors across the country,” she said expressing optimism “that this could be a model to lower the costs of many other drugs in the Medicare program.”
“Our seniors are going to be saving an average of 66 percent in their insulin costs, and this is nothing short of a godsend,” Verma said.
Seema Verma asked to quit over charges of funds misuse (December 11, 2019)
Seema Verma pushes for work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries (November 7, 2017)
Indian American Seema Verma sworn in as 15th CMS administrator (March 14, 2017)