Doughnut hole

More doughnut hole checks mailed last week

Medicare announced last week that it is sending the next round of $250 rebate checks to people in the program who have fallen into the dreaded drug coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole.” Last month, 70,000 who had already fallen into the gap this year received their checks. The second mailing this week will go to approximately 300,000 more Americans.

More than 3 million people fall into the doughnut hole each year, and millions more live in fear of reaching this expensive gap in coverage. Research shows that people who have trouble paying for their prescription drugs are more likely to skip doses or stop taking their medications altogether, which can lead to more serious health problems and higher long-term costs both for them and for our health care system as a whole.

“These checks are an important step toward closing the doughnut hole entirely,” AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said. “Next year, people in Medicare will receive a 50 percent discount on their brand name drugs in the doughnut hole. And by 2020, the gap will be completely closed.”



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