Obamacare Aims to Close Medicare 'Doughnut Hole'

There's a Medicare prescription-drug coverage abyss that is playfully referred to as the "doughnut hole," though there is nothing sweet or amusing about it.

There's a Medicare prescription-drug coverage abyss that is playfully referred to as the "doughnut hole," though there is nothing sweet or amusing about it.

But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, which had a rocky launch last week, Medicare beneficiaries will see that gap shrink again in 2014 and in each year until 2020, according to Medicare.gov.

The doughnut hole is the temporary limit on what Medicare drug plans pay after certain dollar thresholds for drugs have been met.

The year starts with monthly Part D premiums and a $310 deductible. You pay 100% of drug costs until hitting the deductible. Then, out-of-pocket costs—consider those copays—drop to 25% of the price of your medications. The plan pays the rest until you reach a ceiling of $2,850 in combined payments by you and the plan.

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Source: Wall Street Journal