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Health - Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare offers prescription drug coverage to help senior citizens and others who need medical assistance get the prescription drugs they need, under Part D of the program (or Part C if you are enrolled in the Medicare Advantage Plan). Everyone with Medicare can join a drug plan to get this coverage. Not all Medicare drug plans are the same, however. If you aren’t sure whether a drug plan is approved by Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE  (633-4227). Look for the “Medicare Approved” seal on drug discount cards to make sure you are getting the best deal.

Medicare prescription drug coverage pays expenses up to $2,800; once your prescription costs exceeds that amount, you will no longer have coverage and will be responsible for the full cost of your drugs. However, once your out-of-pocket spending reaches $4,550, your prescription coverage will kick back in. Any amount of prescription drug spending between $2,800 and $4,550 is called the coverage gap or “Medicare donut hole.” Beginning in 2013, if you reach the coverage gap, you will automatically get a 52.5% discount on covered brand-name drugs and a 14% discount on generic drugs. If you have limited income and resources, you may get extra help to cover prescription drugs for little or no cost.