On August 18th, the White House released a set of state fact sheets, including one for Maryland, detailing how healthcare costs will lower due to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022’s passage.
According to its fact sheet, the White House anticipates cheaper prescription drug costs, lower health insurance premiums, and increased health insurance coverage in Maryland. As a result of the Act’s passage, older adults and persons with disabilities across Maryland will overwhelmingly benefit due to its Medicare-specific provisions. Moreover, many of the policies outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act fact sheet apply across the country:
- Reduced prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients through the federal government’s ability to negotiate high-cost prescription drug prices
- Slowed prescription drug price increases by requiring companies to pay Medicare a rebate if they increase drug prices faster than inflation
In some instances, the Act’s provisions will have a tangible impact on Marylanders:
- Medicare Part D’s out-of-pocket catastrophic drug costs are capped at $2,000, assisting 21,000 Maryland Medicare beneficiaries
- Medicare beneficiaries will pay no more than $35 for insulin, impacting 48,000 Marylanders as of 2020
- “Extra Help,” a Medicare Part D low-income/low asset subsidy, will expand to include 7,700 Marylanders
- 153,000 individuals receiving their healthcare through Maryland Health Connection, Maryland’s Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace, will continue to receive added subsidies first made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
- An additional 38,000 Marylanders will be able to access plans through Maryland Health Connection subsidies
The Act’s focus on high prescription drug costs and insulin mirrors similar priorities introduced in the Maryland General Assembly. This year, the General Assembly heard a bill in each chamber capping insulin co-pay costs, Senate Bill 353/House Bill 1355. Had they been enacted, the Department of Legislative Services predicted local governments would have absorbed additional costs for more comprehensive insulin coverage. In 2019, the General Assembly established the first-of-its-kind Prescription Drug Affordability Board to manage increasing prescription drug costs.