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.
Medicare.gov: the official U.S. government site for Medicare
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 medications on your plan’s formulary, or list of covered drugs, will count toward your out-of-pocket costs and help you get out of the coverage gap* 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 prescription drugs from a participating pharmacy, make sure you do so, or else the costs may not apply towards getting out of the coverage gap. 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.
The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid
State decisions about Medicaid expansion have implications for the potential scope of Medicaid under the ACA. If all states expanded their Medicaid programs, eligibility for Medicaid in non-expansion states would grow from less than half a million to 4.5 million. Though some of these people can currently purchase subsidized coverage through the Marketplace, there are advantages and disadvantages to Medicaid and private coverage in different states. For example, enrollees may face higher out-of-pocket costs and limited networks for Marketplace coverage than they would for Medicaid, whereas access to specialist care may be problematic in some state Medicaid programs. In addition, while people can enroll in Medicaid throughout the year, Marketplace enrollment is only available during a limited open enrollment period. Medicaid is designed to provide a safety net of coverage for low-income people, with benefits and provider networks targeted to this population and coverage available throughout the year as people’s circumstances change. There is no deadline for states to opt to expand Medicaid under the ACA, and debate continues in some states about whether to expand. If more states adopt the expansion, the coverage gap will shrink and more low-income adults will gain access to Medicaid eligibility.
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.
Part D Information for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
The Medicare Coverage Gap Discount Program (Discount Program) makes manufacturer discounts available to eligible Medicare beneficiaries receiving applicable, covered Part D drugs, while in the coverage gap. In order to participate in the Discount Program, manufacturers must sign an agreement with CMS to provide the discount on all of its applicable drugs (i.e. prescription drugs approved or licensed under new drug applications or biologic license applications). Beginning in 2011, only those applicable drugs that are covered under a signed manufacturer agreement with CMS can be covered under Part D.
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.