If you think you’ve reached the coverage gap and you don’t get a discount when you pay for your brand-name prescription, review your next “Explanation of Benefits” (EOB). If the discount doesn’t appear on the EOB, contact your drug plan to make sure that your prescription records are correct and up-to-date. Get your plan’s contact information from a Personalized Search (under General Search), or search by plan name. If your drug plan doesn’t agree that you’re owed a discount, you can file an appeal.
What’s Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?
Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then your Medigap policy pays its share.
Medicare Part D Coverage Gap (“Donut Hole”)
Coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole”: While in the coverage gap, you’ll pay 45% of the plan’s cost for brand-name drugs and 58% of the plan’s cost for generic drugs in 2016. You’re out of the coverage gap once your yearly out-of-pocket drug costs reach $4,850 in 2016. Once you have spent this amount, you’ve entered the catastrophic coverage phase. The costs paid by you or someone on your behalf (such as a spouse or loved one) for Part D drugs on your plan’s formulary will count toward your out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, manufacturer discounts for brand-name drugs count towards reaching the spending limit that begins catastrophic coverage. If your plan requires you to get your drugs from a participating pharmacy, make sure you do so, or else the costs may not apply. Keep in mind that costs that are paid for you by other insurance you may have, such as prescription drug coverage through an employer, won’t count towards your out-of-pocket spending.
Medicare: What Are Medigap Plans?
If you are going to buy a Medigap plan, the open enrollment period is six months from the first day of the month of your 65th birthday — as long as you are also signed up for Medicare Part B — or within six months of signing up for Medicare Part B. During this time, you can buy any Medigap policy at the same price a person in good health pays. If you try to buy a Medigap policy outside this window, there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to get coverage. If you do get covered, your rates might be higher.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Some states may offer Medigap plan options to beneficiaries under 65 who qualify for Medicare because of disability or certain conditions (such as end-stage renal disease). Federal law doesn’t require states to sell Medicare Supplement insurance to beneficiaries under 65. However, depending on where you live, some states may offer Medigap coverage to beneficiaries under 65; eligibility and the specific available options may vary by state. If you’re a Medicare beneficiary under 65 and interested in purchasing Medicare Supplement insurance, contact your state insurance department to learn if you’re eligible for Medigap coverage in your state.
About the Medicare Coverage Gap
The Medicare coverage gap is the phase of your Medicare Part D benefit when there is a gap in prescription drug coverage. During this phase, you will have to pay more for your drugs, until you reach the catastrophic coverage phase. Most Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans have a coverage gap, or “donut hole.” The coverage gap is reached when your total drug costs (what you and your plan pay) reach a certain amount. You then pay for your prescriptions out of pocket until entering the plan’s catastrophic coverage phase. This is when your total out-of-pocket costs, including the annual deductible and copayments/coinsurance, reach $4,850 in 2016.
Medicare Part D Donut Hole – Prescription Drug Coverage Gap
Most Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans have a coverage gap, sometimes called the Medicare “donut hole.” This means that after you and your Medicare drug plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered prescription drugs, you then have to pay all costs out-of-pocket for the drugs, up to a certain out-of-pocket limit. The yearly deductible, coinsurance, or copayments, and what you pay while in the coverage gap, all count toward this out-of-pocket limit. The limit doesn’t include the drug plan’s premium.