Medicare beneficiaries saved more than $3.2 billion with closing of ‘donut hole’ under ACA, Sebelius says

March 20, 2012

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to close the “donut hole” coverage gap for millions of Medicare beneficiaries, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a news release Monday, saving them more than $3.2 billion on prescription drugs since the ACA took effect almost 2 years ago.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to close the “donut hole” coverage gap for millions of Medicare beneficiaries, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a news release Monday, saving them more than $3.2 billion on prescription drugs since the ACA took effect almost 2 years ago.

Through the first 2 months alone of 2012, about 103,000 seniors and people with disabilities saved $93 million in the donut hole, according to data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The coverage gap is that stage in Medicare Part D prescription coverage that starts when patients and their health plans have spent $2,840 for covered drugs and stops when patients’ total out-of-pocket cost reaches $4,700.

Savings for seniors included a one-time $250 rebate check to seniors who hit the “donut hole” coverage gap in 2010, and a 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs in the donut hole in 2011.

“Without the healthcare law, more than 5.1 million seniors would have faced $3.2 billion in higher drug costs,” Sebelius said. “As we move forward, seniors will save even more as the new law completely eliminates the Medicare donut hole, delivering more relief to Americans.”

For more information about how the Affordable Care Act closes the donut hole over time, visit the government’s website.