The Consumer Reports article published in the Aug. 18 Health & Science section, “Poll shows drug prices moving higher,” stated “when people covered by Medicare Part D plans reach the ‘doughnut hole’ — the situation where, after you and the plan pay $2,960 together, you have to pay fully for medications until the total reaches $3,310.” This is inaccurate for several reasons.
This year, once a Medicare beneficiary who is enrolled in a Medicare Part D Plan reaches the doughnut hole ($2,960), he does not pay full price for medications. Rather, he pays 45 percent of the plan’s cost for his covered brand-name prescription drugs and 65 percent of the plan’s cost for generic drugs. Once the beneficiary has spent $4,700 out of pocket for the year, his coverage gap ends, and he will pay a small coinsurance or co-payment for each covered drug until the end of the year.
Marcia Elstein, Columbia