In more news on what’s at stake in the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, new data has come out on Obamacare’s effect on seniors and their prescription drug spending. According to the data, the 70,000 seniors in California have saved a total of $41 million on their prescription drug costs through the first five months of the year alone. According to Medicare officials, by phasing out the Medicare Part D coverage gap known as the “Doughnut Hole,” California seniors saved an average of $585 on their prescription drug costs.
If you remember, one of the main objectives of the Affordable Care Act has been to close the Medicare Part D “donut hole,” the coverage gap which limits how much Medicare Part D will cover for prescription drugs. Currently, the Medicare Part D coverage gap starts when you hit $2,930 in prescription drug costs. Medicare Part D coverage picks up again once you hit $6,657 in drug costs.
In between those two points, you’re in the “donut hole.” Pre-Obamacare, seniors were usually stuck trying to cover the entire prescription drug coverage on their own, but Obamacare closes that gap over the next few years. Currently under Obamacare, Medicare Part D plan members receive a 50% discount on their brand name drugs while they are in the “donut hole.” Generic prescription drugs are discounted in the Medicare Part D “donut hole” as well. In 2012, generic drugs are discounted 14% in the “donut hole.”
If Obamacare entirely goes away, it looks like seniors will be going back to having to pick up the full costs of the “donut hole” again, so no discounts on either generic or brand name prescription drugs. That means that if you’re at or past the $2,930 in prescription drug costs for the year, be prepared to have to pay in full for the rest of your prescription drugs until you hit the $6,657. Ouch!
Are you prepared for the Medicare Part D “Doughnut Hole” to make a comeback? Tell us about it in our prescription drug forum!
- Study: Seniors Stop Taking Their Drugs When In the Medicare “Donut Hole”
- Obamacare: Will the Medicare Part D “Donut Hole” Make a Comeback?
- Obamacare: So What Are We Going To Do About the “Donut Hole”?
- Obamacare: Should We Brace Ourselves For the Return of the “Donut Hole”?
- Medicare Donut Hole: Are Generics Really Always the Cheapest Drugs?