BOSTON (AP) — Federal officials say the health care law championed by President Barack Obama and scorned by Republicans has helped Massachusetts seniors save more than $76 million on prescription drugs this year.

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services says the Affordable Care Act has enabled seniors in the Medicare’s “donut hole” coverage gap save an average of $610 in the first eight months of this year.

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The health care law provides better Medicare coverage for seniors with high prescription costs, and no copayments for preventive care.

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Nearly 519,000 Massachusetts residents have received at least one preventive service with no co-payments in the first eight months of this year.

The average Massachusetts resident with traditional Medicare will save $5,000 and people with high prescription costs will save more than 18,000 from 2010 to 2022.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.