Medicare Part D donut hole swallows 4.2 million

May 21, 2007

According to a study from Wolters Kluwer Health, 4.2 million seniors-nearly one-third of the standard eligible Medicare Part D recipients-fell into the donut hole coverage gap in 2006.

According to a study from Wolters Kluwer Health, 4.2 million seniors—nearly one-third of the standard eligible Medicare Part D recipients—fell into the donut hole coverage gap in 2006. Last year, the gap in coverage began when recipients spent $2,250 on prescription drug costs and lasted until catastrophic coverage began when the beneficiary paid an additional $2,850. The results were based on a statistical analysis that focused on standard eligible beneficiaries and excluded dual-eligible and other subsidized beneficiaries. The study also found that Part D beneficiaries were 4% to 5% more likely to use generic drugs than beneficiaries of private drug benefits. The study's findings were released in advance of the final report, due out in June.

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