Medicare donut gap to close significantly

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That means the vast majority of seniors— 91 percent — will not hit the Medicare prescription drug donut hole at any time in 2013. Among users who will hit the donut hole in 2013, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) will hit the donut hole between September and December in their existing Medicare prescription drug plan.
Source: benefitspro.com

Video: 2014 Medicare Doughnut Hole Costs – Donut Hole Costs for 2014

The Windy Road To Closing the Donut Hole and the Future of Medicare Part D Under Obamacare

In the beginning, Medicare did not offer a prescription drug benefit and tens of millions of seniors paid for their medications entirely out-of-pocket. Let there be light: In 2003, Congress passed the Medicare Modernization Act, which was then signed into law by President Bush. That law gave birth to Part D – a prescription drug benefit available to Medicare enrollees. But there were holes! When Medicare Part D plans first launched in 2006, average monthly premiums were $25.93. After paying a standard deductible of $250, enrollees paid 25% of their drug costs until total drug costs (between the enrollee and insurer) reached $2,250. That’s $250 towards the deductible, $500 in cost-sharing, plus premiums of $311.16 for a total of $1,061.16 per year in out-of-pocket spending. That’s if you stayed out of the donut hole!
Source: pharmacycheckerblog.com

How Will Health Reform Affect Medicare? Part D, Donut Holes, Limits, and More

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Source: webmd.com

Health law gives seniors stronger safety net, closes Medicare ‘doughnut hole’

Since 2010, the tab on your doughnut-hole drugs has dropped through steady discounts. Next year, expect to pay 47.5 percent of the price of brand-name drugs and 72 percent of the tab for generic drugs. By 2020, Obamacare will declare the doughnut hole closed and you will continue to cover just 25 percent of both brand-name and generic drug costs.
Source: alpha-1foundation.org

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

If you select “Keep me signed in on this computer”, you can stay signed in to WebMD.com on this computer for up to 2 weeks or until you sign out. This means that a cookie will stay on your computer even when you exit or close your browser which may reduce your levels of privacy and security. You should never select this option if you’re using a publicly accessible computer, or if you’re sharing a computer with others. Even if you select this option there are some features of our site that still require you to log in for privacy reasons.
Source: webmd.com

Tips to Lower Costs in the Medicare Part D Donut Hole

In a previous post, we discussed how many beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MAPDs) will enter the coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole,” at some point during the year. Around half of Part D beneficiaries reached the coverage gap by the end of August, and those that entered it in July remain in the coverage gap until the end of the calendar year. Increased costs in the donut hole have lead to reduced drug usage, which poses an obvious problem for the health of beneficiaries. This post will offer some tips on how to save money while in the Part D donut hole.
Source: planprescriber.com

FAQ: The Shrinking Medicare Doughnut Hole

Drug plans vary, but here’s generally how it works: After paying a deductible of $310, beneficiaries with Medicare drug coverage are responsible for 25 percent of the cost of their prescription drugs; the drug plans pick up the other 75 percent, explains the National Council on Aging. Once the seniors run up an additional $2,530 in costs – of which $632.50 is paid by the senior and $1,897.50 is picked up by the drug plan – the beneficiaries enter the doughnut hole. At that point, beneficiaries are fully responsible for their drug bills. To soften the blow, under the law, seniors this year will get a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs and a 7 percent discount on generic drugs until they have spent an additional $3,607.50. At that point, seniors escape the doughnut hole and the drug plan covers about 95 percent of the cost of prescriptions for the rest of the year.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid show ACA savings

Under the discount program in the ACA, in 2010, anyone with a Medicare prescription drug plan who reached the prescription drug donut hole got a $250 rebate. In 2011, beneficiaries who landed in the donut hole began receiving discounts on covered brand-name drugs and savings on generic drugs. Next year, Medicare Part D participants who fall into the donut hole will receive savings of about 53 percent on the cost of brand name drugs and 28 percent on the cost of generic drugs. These savings and Medicare coverage will gradually increase until 2020, when the coverage gap will be closed.
Source: csbj.com

Rebate Checks The Jelly in WA Medicare Donut Holes / Public News Service

SEATTLE – About one in five people on Medicare in Washington spends enough on prescription drugs to fall into the coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole,” the point at which government assistance for their drug costs runs out. Starting this week, some Medicare recipients are getting one-time rebate checks of $250 to help fill that gap. It’s part of the health care reform package passed by Congress. John Hammarlund regional administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), says those who receive the checks won’t be contacted in advance by anyone from Medicare, and they do not need to do anything in order to qualify for the rebate. “These checks are going to come automatically, when people enter into the doughnut hole. So, there’s nothing that they have to do to notify Medicare.” CMS is warning people not to give out personal information to anyone who claims to be able to help them receive the refund check, and to report such contacts to the state attorney general or to Medicare, at 800-MEDICARE. Ingrid McDonald, advocacy director for AARP Washington, says $250 doesn’t cover much in terms of expensive medications, but it is the first small step in a multi-year plan designed to completely close the doughnut hole by the year 2020. “There was a lot of political pressure to keep the cost of the overall health care legislation down. So, that’s why in the first year, there’s really just a good-faith gesture of these $250 rebate checks, to send the message to people that help is on the way.” The rebate is a one-time, tax-free payment, made one to two months after a person’s drug costs prompt them to enter the doughnut hole. CMS estimates as many as 150,000 Washington seniors could receive a check this year. Starting next year, prescriptions will be discounted instead, for both brand-name and generic drugs.
Source: publicnewsservice.org