Saturday, August 23, 2008

3.4 Million Seniors Hit Medicare 'Doughnut Hole'

In 2007, about 3.4 million Americans enrolled in the Medicare Part D drug plan reached a gap in their prescription coverage known as the "doughnut hole," leading some of them to stop taking prescribed drugs, says a Kaiser Family Foundation study released Thursday.

The analysis of data found that 26 percent of Part D enrollees who filled any prescriptions in 2007 reached the coverage gap. This includes 22 percent who were stuck in the gap for the remainder of the year and 4 percent who eventually received catastrophic coverage.

When they applied this estimate to the all Part D enrollees, the study authors concluded that last year about 3.4 million beneficiaries (14 percent of all Part D enrollees) reached the coverage gap and faced paying full cost for their prescriptions.


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