The prescription drug donut hole is closing. On the one year anniversary of ‘Obamacare‘, government health reforms have already put nearly a billion dollars back in the pockets of cash-strapped seniors, according to a new report on healthcare.gov.
Since July, 3.8 million seniors whose drug expenditures pushed them into the donut hole have received a one-time rebate of $250, for a total of $950 million dollars flowing back into seniors’ checking accounts.
Add to that another $38 million in January and February because of the 50 percent discount on name-brand drugs that the Obama Administration negotiated with the large pharmaceutical companies. That discount is for those in the donut hole and averages nearly $800 a person. To realize the annual savings, just take that $38 million (for two months) and multiply it by six.
Nearly 60 percent of those benefiting were women, and states with the most individuals receiving rebate checks are California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas — all logical since those are five of the six most populous states. I imagine Illnois is not far behind.
Although the rebate checks are a one-time deal, if health reform is not derailed by the President’s detractors it will close the donut hole completely by 2020, providing real financial relief to the country’s retirees. [2015 edit: Although they’ve certainly tried, reform opponents have not been able to derail most of the ACA’s provisions, and the donut hole is indeed closing. In 2015, beneficiaries pay just 45 percent of the cost of brand name drugs while in the donut hole, and 65 percent of the cost of generic drugs. Those will both be 25 percent by 2020, at which point there will be no more donut hole.]
This boomer likes that!