Congress Passes Law That Will Help Reduce Financial Burdens of Living With ALS

Today, the House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act, H.R. 5376, with a vote of 220-207, which includes important health care reforms that will provide financial relief for people living with ALS and their families.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which also includes climate and tax provisions, will cap the out-of-pocket costs that Medicare beneficiaries pay for their prescription drugs under Part D at $2,000 a year. In addition, there will be a cap and a reduction on the coinsurance rate for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. This is a significant change that we expect will have a positive impact on the financial health of people living with ALS who are on Medicare.

“ALS imposes a heavy financial burden on people living with the disease. This cap on out-of-pocket expenses is an important step in reducing that burden by making sure people living with ALS can pay for their prescription drugs. We are grateful to those in Congress who worked with us on this provision and applaud this step forward to reducing drug costs for people living with ALS,” said Dr. Neil Thakur, chief mission officer of The ALS Association.

Although these landmark prescription drug reforms will begin in a few years, people currently on a health plan through the Affordable Care Act marketplace can continue to receive insurance premium tax credits through 2025. These tax credit will help lower the cost of insurance premiums.

The final legislation did not include a provision, offered as an amendment during debate on the bill by Sen. John Barasso (R-Wyo.), that would have banned the use of quality-adjusted-life-year (QALY) assessments in Medicare. We will continue to oppose to the use of QALY in coverage determinations for ALS patients, agreeing with the National Council on Disabilities that the metric devalues the life of and discriminates against those with disabilities.

The Association continues to work with Congress and the Administration to advance our public policy priorities.