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Health Affairs: Smoothing Part D out-of-pocket costs under the Inflation Reduction Act

Following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which included several historic Medicare reforms, media coverage has often focused on the $2,000 annual cap on out-of-pocket prescription costs. But one key reform has been missing from the headlines: smoothing.

This article, published in Health Affairs Forefront, discusses the importance of smoothing—the option to evenly distribute Part D prescription costs throughout the year with monthly payments. It also includes key recommendations for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as they design, implement, and promote the program. Cap and smoothing, which will both take effect in 2025, will have a major impact on medication adherence and affordability.

Amy Niles, Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer at the PAN Foundation, co-authored this article with Jalpa A. Doshi, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine. The two have been at the forefront of smoothing research and advocacy for years.