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Casey Introduces Bill to Eliminate Copays for Hundreds of Thousands of Pennsylvania Seniors

The Cutting Copays Act would remove costs for generic medications for certain Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy Program enrollees

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, introduced the Cutting Copays Act to lower prescription drug costs for hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians. The law would remove cost-sharing for generic medications for all Americans who are enrolled in the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy Program (also known as Extra Help) and make less than $15,060 per year. Currently, this population of Extra Help beneficiaries pay up to $1.55 for each generic drug they are prescribed—Casey’s bill would cut that number to zero. In 2021, over 350,000 Pennsylvanians could have benefitted from this bill.

“The high cost of prescription drugs is a weight on the shoulders of Pennsylvania seniors and families, and for many of our seniors, it’s a weight that’s become far too heavy to bear,” said Chairman Casey. “The Cutting Copays Act is just the latest way that I am taking action to lower drug costs and make sure our seniors can afford the medications they need.”

Lowering prescription drug costs for Pennsylvania’s families and seniors is one of Chairman Casey’s top priorities. In August 2022, Chairman Casey fought to pass the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which contained several provisions bringing down the cost of prescription medications. Last month, Casey released a fact sheet detailing how the law is already bringing down costs for Pennsylvania seniors, including the 80,200 Pennsylvanians on Medicare Part B and D whose insulin costs have been capped $35 a month. The fact sheet also provides Pennsylvanians with a timeline for provisions that have yet to be implemented, such as the cap on out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 and the ability for Medicare to negotiate for fair drug prices, which will lower costs for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians. In addition to the IRA, last summer Chairman Casey introduced the Protect Seniors from High Drug Costs Actwhich would help bring down drug costs by prohibiting health plans and pharmacy benefit managers from charging Medicare Part D beneficiaries more in cost-sharing than the net cost of the drug.

Read more about the Cutting Copays Act HERE.