HHS Offers Progress Report On Shrinking Medicare’s Doughnut Hole
A provision in the health law was intended to help fill a gap in Medicare's prescription drug coverage. On Thursday, administration officials said 3.6 million beneficiaries saved $2.1 billion on prescription drugs in 2011.
Los Angeles Times: Health Law Delivers $2.1 Billion In Savings On Drugs For Seniors
In the first full year of the new healthcare law, 3.6 million people in the government Medicare program saved $2.1 billion on prescription drugs in 2011, the Obama administration announced Thursday (Levey, 2/2).
The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog: Obama Says Seniors Have Saved On Medicare 'Doughnut Hole'
Part of the law was intended to fill the gap in prescription-drug coverage, the so-called doughnut hole, when Medicare beneficiaries have to pay up to $4,550 out of pocket for drugs after their costs pass $2,840 for the year. Under the law, drug companies have to offer discounts on brand-name and generic drugs for Medicare beneficiaries after they reach the gap. Discounts increase annually until 2020, when the hole is supposed to be filled entirely. In 2010, the first year when the discounts were in effect, seniors also got a $250 rebate check if they hit the doughnut hole (Radnofsky, 2/2).
Modern Healthcare: Reform Shrinking 'Doughnut Hole': HHS
About 3.6 million Americans with Medicare who reached the "doughnut hole" saved about $604 on their prescription drugs in 2011, according to data from HHS. ... HHS reported Thursday that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—which provides a 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs, and, in 2012, a 14% discount on generics—saved those 3.6 million beneficiaries about $2.1 billion on their prescription-drug costs last year (Zigmond, 2/2).