WASHINGTON – Connecticut members of Congress, John B. Larson (CT-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Jim Himes (CT-04) and Chris Murphy (CT-05) touted a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today showing that millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Connecticut Medicare beneficiaries have taken advantage of provisions in the Affordable Care Act to receive better care and save money.

“Every day more and more seniors are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act,” Congressman Larson said. “Already hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents have taken advantage of Medicare’s free preventive services like mammograms, cancer screenings, and annual wellness visits. Thousands of others have saved money thanks to a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs for beneficiaries that hit the donut hole. As new provisions of last year’s landmark healthcare reform law continue to go into effect, more Americans will see better care and decreased health care costs.”

“Connecticut has the third-highest utilization rate of wellness visits in the entire country, which is a testament to their benefit,” said Congressman Courtney. “Doctors across our state are diagnosing cases of cancer that they would not have in the past. Earlier detection means a greater chance for recovery and significantly lower treatment costs. The Affordable Care Act has already helped seniors with prescription drug costs, allowed young people to remain on their parents’ health plans and made pre-existing condition discrimination a thing of the past. The more people learn about this law, the more they like it.”

“These preventive care measures are a critical part of the Affordable Care Act’s goal of transforming our health care system, expanding access to care, and improving Americans’ quality of life,” Congresswoman DeLauro said. “Hundreds of thousands of seniors in Connecticut have already benefitted from these services, as well as the closing of the prescription drug ‘donut hole,’ and that number will continue to grow as more of the law comes into effect. The Affordable Care Act is living up to its promise—reforming our health care system and ensuring that future generations of Americans will lead healthier lives.”

“Helping seniors manage out-of-control prescription costs and gain access to free preventive care was one of the biggest accomplishments of health care reform,” said Congressman Himes. “These new numbers prove that these changes are helping hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents. We must continue our work to improve the Medicare program for those that rely on it every day. ”

“The Affordable Care Act is improving Medicare for over 100,000 seniors in the Fifth District alone, providing free preventive and wellness care, improving primary and coordinated care, and enhancing nursing home care,” said Congressman Murphy. “I’ve talked to seniors all across my district who are already feeling the benefits this law ensures, and more and more Connecticut seniors will see costs go down and care improve as more components of the Affordable Care Act come online.”

According to the report, 17 million individuals with Medicare have received free preventive services this year and 900,000 Medicare beneficiaries have received a 50 percent discount on their brand-name drugs for a total out-of-pocket savings of $461 million. In addition, over 1 million Medicare beneficiaries have taken advantage of the free Annual Wellness Visit provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Locally, 239,017 Medicare beneficiaries in Connecticut have accessed free preventive services, 32,128 have taken advantage of their free Annual Wellness Visit, while 9,642 beneficiaries have saved an average of $535 this year in Part D prescription drug relief.

Residents interested in taking advantage of free preventive services or finding out how to access their free Annual Wellness Visit are urged to contact their local member of Congress or visit: http://www.medicare.gov/share-the-health/.