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.
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