Incoming House GOP Majority Has Promised Repeal of Health Care Law—Rollback Would Kill Important Consumer Protections Like “Donut Hole” Fix
New Reform That Just Took Effect Saturday Provides 50 Percent Discount To Seniors Who Hit Gap In Medicare Drug Coverage
AUSTINTOWN – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will visit the Austintown Senior Center on Tuesday, Jan. 4, to discuss new Medicare benefits— made possible by the new health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)— including 50 percent discounts on brand-name prescription drugs and biologics for seniors who enter the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, known as the “donut hole.”
More than 97,000 Ohio seniors entered the “donut hole” in 2010 and, as a result of the health reform law, received $250 rebate checks to help assist with the cost of their prescription drugs. If the incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives repeals health care reform, further prescription drug discounts for Ohio seniors will be eliminated.
In addition to discounts on brand-name drugs, the health reform law ensures that Medicare beneficiaries receive free annual wellness check-ups and free preventive screenings (with no co-payments or deductibles) such as colonoscopies and mammograms.
Since its creation in 2003, Medicare Part D has included a detrimental and costly prescription drug coverage gap, known as the “donut hole” – where seniors who exceed the prescription drug coverage limit are left responsible for paying 100 percent of their drug costs, until catastrophic coverage kicks in. In an effort to ease this financial burden on seniors in 2010, the new health reform law provided more than 97,000 Ohio seniors with a one-time $250 rebate check to assist with the cost of their prescription drugs.
Beginning January 1, 2011, the new law provides Medicare beneficiaries with a 50 percent discount on brand-name prescription drugs and biologics if they enter the “donut hole.” Discounts will increase every year until 2020, when the “donut hole” will be completely filled and beneficiaries will only be responsible for the standard 25 percent co-insurance payment rather than the full 100 percent that they were paying prior to 2011.