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The Inflation Reduction Act and Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries With Cardiovascular DiseaseGET ACCESS

Original Investigation

J Am Coll Cardiol, 81 (21) 2103–2111
Sections

Central Illustration

Abstract

Background

High out-of-pocket costs can impede access to guideline-directed cardiovascular drugs. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will eliminate catastrophic coinsurance and cap annual out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D patients by 2025.

Objectives

This study sought to estimate the IRA’s impact on out-of-pocket costs for Part D beneficiaries with cardiovascular disease.

Methods

The investigators chose 4 cardiovascular conditions that frequently require high-cost guideline-recommended drugs: severe hypercholesterolemia; heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF); HFrEF with atrial fibrillation (AF); and cardiac transthyretin amyloidosis. This study included 4,137 Part D plans nationwide and compared projected annual out-of-pocket drug costs for each condition in 2022 (baseline), 2023 (rollout), 2024 (5% catastrophic coinsurance eliminated), and 2025 ($2,000 cap on out-of-pocket costs).

Results

In 2022, mean projected annual out-of-pocket costs were $1,629 for severe hypercholesterolemia, $2,758 for HFrEF, $3,259 for HFrEF with AF, and $14,978 for amyloidosis. In 2023, the initial IRA rollout will not significantly change out-of-pocket costs for the 4 conditions. In 2024, elimination of 5% catastrophic coinsurance will lower out-of-pocket costs for the 2 costliest conditions: HFrEF with AF ($2,855, 12% reduction) and amyloidosis ($3,468, 77% reduction). By 2025, the $2,000 cap will lower out-of-pocket costs for all 4 conditions to $1,491 for hypercholesterolemia (8% reduction), $1,954 for HFrEF (29% reduction), $2,000 for HFrEF with AF (39% reduction), and $2,000 for cardiac transthyretin amyloidosis (87% reduction).

Conclusions

The IRA will reduce Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug costs for the selected cardiovascular conditions by 8% to 87%. Future studies should assess the IRA’s impact on adherence to guideline-directed cardiovascular therapies and health outcomes.

References