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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Closing the Donut Hole

July 25, 2012

In 2012 alone, 15,326 with Medicare have saved an average of $594

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, people with Medicare in Minnesota have saved $62,303,811 on prescription drugs since the law was enacted.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also released data today showing that in the first half of 2012, 15,326 with Medicare in Minnesota saved a total of $9,106,662 on prescription drugs in “donut hole” coverage gap for an average of $594 in savings this year.

Nationwide, over 5.2 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved over $3.9 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted.

“Millions of people with Medicare have been paying less for prescription drugs thanks to the health reform law,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.  “Seniors and people with disabilities have already saved close to $4 billion nationwide. In 2020, the donut hole will be closed thanks to the Affordable Care Act.”

These savings are automatically applied to prescription drugs that people with Medicare purchase, after they hit the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole.”  Since the law was enacted, seniors and people with disabilities have had several opportunities to save on prescription drugs:

·         In 2010, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole received a one-time $250 rebate.  These rebates in Minnesota totaled $16,744,250;
·         In 2011, people with Medicare began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 7 percent coverage of generic drugs in the donut hole.  Last year, 61,367 Medicare beneficiaries in Minnesota received a total of $36,452,899 in discounts, an average savings of $594 for 2011;
·         This year, Medicare coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap has risen to 14 percent.  For the first six months of the year, people with Medicare in Minnesota have saved $9,106,662.

Coverage for both brand name and generic drugs in the gap will continue to increase over time until 2020, when the coverage gap will be closed. 

For more information on how the Affordable Care Act closes the Medicare drug benefit coverage gap “donut hole,” please visit:

For State-by-State information on the amount of savings people with Medicare have received in the donut hole, please visit:

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Judy Bird, Policy Liaison  -  Office of Congressman Tim Walz  -  1130 1/2 7th St NW  Suite 208  -  Rochester, MN  507-206-0643 (p)  507-206-0650  (f)  sign up for Tim's Newsletter -

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