Thursday, July 27, 2006

Medicare's 'Doughnut Hole'

"Medicare Part D is providing prescription drug coverage to millions of older Americans. But ever since the program went into effect in January, there's been an epidemic of confusion and headaches."

"For all patients, Medicare covers 75 percent of the first $2,250 worth of drugs. But after that, coverage drops to zero—and doesn't resume until the patient hits $5,100 in expenses. Then Medicare kicks in again, paying 95 percent of costs. But it's this gap—of almost $3,000—that many sick and disabled seniors call unaffordable."

"The 'doughnut hole' is also emerging as a powerful election issue because of when seniors will feel the pain: Somewhere between 3 million and 7 million seniors will fall into this coverage gap between now and November."

Medicare's 'Doughnut Hole'

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