Medicare Doughnut-Hole Costs Decreasing: What to Expect


The health-care reform law is doing away with the Medicare doughnut hole–eventually. Right now, drug coverage stops after about $2,830 is spent on medications. It starts up again once you rack up $4,550. Medicare expert Joe Baker explains what’s in store for this coverage gap, and–perhaps more important for people caring for aging parents–what to expect in the meantime:

The health reform law will phase out the coverage gap by 2020. In 2010, Medicare will automatically send eligible people who enter the coverage gap a one-time $250 rebate. People with Medicare who receive Extra Help will not be eligible for this rebate. …

In 2011, consumers will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name prescription drugs and a 7 percent discount on generic drugs when they are in the doughnut hole. The share that consumers pay for both brand-name and generic drugs will decrease until the gap is eliminated in 2020.

Baker’s answer appears in part four in a series of Medicare questions and answers The New York Times has been featuring in its blog Bucks. We previously covered parts one and two. Here are installments three and four.

If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.

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4 Pings/Trackbacks for "Medicare Doughnut-Hole Costs Decreasing: What to Expect"
  1. [...] Drug Plans.” And here’s our post about another Medicare change scheduled for next year: “Medicare Doughnut-Hole Costs Decreasing: What to Expect.” from → Medicare, Medicaid ← Aging in Place: Free AARP How-To Webinar Tuesday [...]

  2. [...] aging parents, medicare, Senior Health by Leigh Ann Otte If your aging parents are counting on the new 50 percent discount to get them through the Medicare doughnut hole next year, they may be in for an unwanted surprise, [...]

  3. [...] little planning might help you or your senior parents avoid the dreaded Medicare doughnut hole. And AARP offers a handy dandy calculator that helps with that planning. Plug in your medicines, [...]

  4. [...] written previously about upcoming changes to the Medicare coverage gap, starting with 50 percent discounts on many drugs next year. But EldercareABC points out a concern [...]

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