Seniors Win Battle over Medicare Part D Doughnut Hole

“Any changes to Medicare should help, not hurt, patients,” say the PhRMA ads. Yet PhRMA’s actions tell a different story. Last February, Congress struck a bipartisan deal to help close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, known as the ‘doughnut hole,’ a year earlier than expected. In addition, brand name drug companies are now responsible for picking up more of the cost of their products for Medicare beneficiaries who are in the doughnut hole. The provision was part …

Social Security, Medicare Anniversaries Remind Voters of Important Issues in Pivotal Election Year

This summer marks another successful anniversary for Social Security and Medicare as Social Security turns 83 and Medicare turns 53. Social Security and Medicare remain critical to the economic and health security of Americans, and although the programs remain strong, challenges lay ahead for the long term. We can and must find bipartisan solutions to strengthen these vital programs, ensuring they can meet their promise for current and future generations. With regard to Medicare, we need to take further steps …

Medicare Part D Improvements Help Beneficiaries and Taxpayers

Fifteen years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act which, among other things, created Medicare Part D to cover outpatient prescription drugs. Today, more than 40 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Medicare Part D has since benefited from a number of changes that helped reduce prescription drug-related expenses for older Americans. Unfortunately, this important progress is now under threat. Basics of Medicare Part D The standard Medicare …

Closing the ‘Doughnut Hole’ Has Protected Millions of Medicare Beneficiaries From High Drug Costs

Since 2006, Medicare beneficiaries have had access to outpatient prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D. The standard benefit under Part D includes an annual deductible, an initial coverage period when enrollees pay 25 percent of their drug costs, and catastrophic coverage that limits enrollees’ spending to roughly 5 percent of their drug costs. One of the more striking characteristics of the Medicare Part D benefit is its “doughnut hole,” or coverage gap, where enrollees are required to pay the full …

Pay Less for Your Prescription Drugs

By Nicole Duritz The dog days of August are the most likely time for Medicare Part D participants to fall into the “doughnut hole” and see their prescription costs rise. With AARP resources, you can see if you’re at risk of falling in, and find options for lowering your drug costs. The Doughnut Hole Each year, 19 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries fall into the doughnut hole. Once the amount of money you and your insurance company pay for …

Medicare Part D Generates Billions in Taxpayer Savings

Medicare‘s prescription drug benefit saves taxpayers billions of dollars by dramatically reducing hospital admissions, a new study shows. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Illinois at Chicago estimated the total savings at $1.5 billion a year – about 2.2 percent of the total $67.7 billion cost of Medicare Part D in 2011. “Medicare Part D requires a substantial investment from the federal government, and the million-dollar question has been, ‘Does this investment …