Medicare Part D Drug Coverage Gap Closing at Faster Clip
The gap was never scheduled to close 100%,” says Dr. Katy Votava, president of GoodCare.com. Once it closes, “beneficiaries will still pay 25% out of their pockets.”
Headlines earlier this year announced the “doughnut hole” in Medicare’s Part D prescription-drug coverage is closing ahead of schedule. That’s welcome news for the beneficiaries who fall into the coverage gap, many of whom should see savings next year. But as is often the case, the devil is in the details.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 accelerates the closure of the gap for brand-name prescription drugs so that beneficiaries pay 25% of drug costs in 2019, down from the scheduled 30%.
The change makes it all the more important to be prepared to compare your Part D options later this year during Medicare open enrollment. Depending on the specific drugs you take and the cost-sharing structure of plans in your area, you may save some money.
The coverage gap had been gradually shrinking for several years since the Affordable Care Act set a path to close it by 2020. “The gap was never scheduled to close 100%,” says Dr. Katy Votava, president of GoodCare.com. Once it closes, “beneficiaries will still pay 25% out of their pockets.”