How do you beat the Medicare donut hole?

Asked by: Dr. Kristoffer Sporer  |  Last update: November 28, 2023
Score: 5/5 (75 votes)

If you find yourself in the Medicare donut hole and want out, you'll need to hit your out-of-pocket threshold. Once you meet this cost, which is $7,400 in 2023, you will only have to pay 5% of your prescription drug costs or $4.15 for generic drugs and $10.35 for brand-name drugs—whichever is greater.

Is there any way to avoid the donut hole in Medicare?

Here are some ideas:
  1. Buy Generic Prescriptions. ...
  2. Order your Medications by Mail and in Advance. ...
  3. Ask for Drug Manufacturer's Discounts. ...
  4. Consider Extra Help or State Assistance Programs. ...
  5. Shop Around for a New Prescription Drug Plan.

How much do you pay to get out of the donut hole Medicare?

You'll pay 25% of the price. Medicare pays 75% of the price. Only the amount you pay will count towards getting you out of the “donut hole.”

How long do you stay in the donut hole with Medicare?

When does the Medicare Donut Hole End? The donut hole ends when you reach the catastrophic coverage limit for the year. In 2023, the donut hole will end when you and your plan reach $7,400 out-of-pocket in one calendar year.

How much do I have to pay in the donut hole?

Once in the gap, you'll pay no more than 25% of the cost for brand-name and generic prescription drugs covered by your Part D plan, although the full cost of those drugs will be used to move you closer to the Catastrophic Coverage stage.

Medicare Donut Hole Explained Simply

22 related questions found

Will donut hole go away?

When did the donut hole close? The donut hole finally closed for good in 2020, having been phased out in 2019 for brand-name drugs and then in 2020 for generic drugs. The Affordable Care Act enacted in March 2010 gradually reduced the share of costs people had to pay in the donut hole starting in 2011.

How does Medicare donut hole work in 2023?

In 2023, you'll enter the donut hole when your spending + your plan's spending reaches $4,660. And you leave the donut hole — and enter the catastrophic coverage level – when your spending + manufacturer discounts reach $7,400. Both of these amounts are higher than they were in 2022, and generally increase each year.

How much is the Medicare donut hole for 2023?

You enter the donut hole when your total drug costs—including what you and your plan have paid for your drugs—reaches a certain limit. In 2023, that limit is $4,660. While in the coverage gap, you are responsible for a percentage of the cost of your drugs.

Do Medicare supplemental plans cover the donut hole?

There is not a Medicare plan that covers the donut hole. You may wonder if a Medigap could help you avoid donut hole costs. Medigap policies are private Medicare supplement insurance plans that are sold to cover additional costs and some services not traditionally covered by Original Medicare.

What will the Medicare donut hole be in 2024?

In 2024, costs in the catastrophic phase will change: the 5% coinsurance requirement for Part D enrollees will be eliminated and Part D plans will pay 20% of total drug costs in this phase instead of 15%.

What happens when you hit the donut hole?

Most plans with Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) have a coverage gap (called a "donut hole"). This means that after you and your drug plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered drugs, you have to pay all costs out-of-pocket for your prescriptions up to a yearly limit.

What happens after the donut hole?

If you enter the Donut Hole, you may have to pay a higher price for your medications until the next January 1, or until your out-of-pocket costs qualify you for another level of insurance called Catastrophic Coverage.

What are the 4 stages for the Medicare donut hole?

The Four Coverage Stages of Medicare's Part D Program
  • Stage 1. Annual Deductible.
  • Stage 2. Initial Coverage.
  • Stage 3. Coverage Gap.
  • Stage 4. Catastrophic Coverage.

Can I use GoodRx if I'm in the donut hole?

GoodRx can't be used in combination with Medicare, but it can be used in place of Medicare. You may want to consider using GoodRx instead of Medicare when Medicare doesn't cover your medication, when you won't reach your annual deductible, or when you're in the coverage gap phase (“donut hole”) of your Medicare plan.

Does the donut hole reset every year?

Does the Donut Hole or Coverage Gap restart every year on January 1st or do we stay in the Gap from the previous year? Your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage starts again each year — and along with your new coverage, your Donut Hole or Coverage Gap begins again each plan year.

What is the deductible for Part D in 2023?

Most Part D PDP enrollees who remain in their current plan for 2023 will be in a plan with the standard (maximum) $505 deductible.

Do I have to pay for Medicare Part D if I have supplemental insurance?

You're required to pay the Part D IRMAA, even if your employer or a third party (like a teacher's union or a retirement system) pays for your Part D plan premiums. If you don't pay the Part D IRMAA and get disenrolled, you may also lose your retirement coverage and you may not be able to get it back.

What is the catastrophic coverage for Part D in 2023?

The Medicare Part D true (or total) out-of-pocket (TrOOP) threshold will bump up to $7,400 in 2023, a $350 increase from the previous year. The true (or total) out-of-pocket (TrOOP) threshold marks the point at which Medicare Part D Catastrophic Coverage begins.

What is the Humana donut hole?

This is called the coverage gap, or the donut hole. In 2023, this coverage gap will be triggered once you and your plan spend a combined $4,660 on covered medications. Once you're in the coverage gap, you will pay a maximum of 25% of the cost for brand-name drugs in your plan.

What will we be paying for Medicare Part B in 2023?

Most people pay the standard Part B monthly premium amount ($164.90 in 2023). Social Security will tell you the exact amount you'll pay for Part B in 2023. You pay the standard premium amount if you: Enroll in Part B for the first time in 2023.

Will Medicare Part B increase in 2024?

In its annual report released in March of this year, the Medicare Trustees forecast monthly Part B premiums to increase from $164.90 in 2023 to $174.80 in 2024.

Is there a donut hole for Medicare Part B?

The donut hole won't affect all Medicare beneficiaries. If you have Original Medicare only (Parts A and B) and don't have a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D), the donut hole won't affect you.

How much more will we pay for Medicare in 2023?

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $164.90 for 2023, a decrease of $5.20 from $170.10 in 2022. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $226 in 2023, a decrease of $7 from the annual deductible of $233 in 2022.

What year income is 2023 Medicare based on?

So for 2023, the SSA looks at your 2021 tax returns to see if you must pay an IRMAA. IRMAA is calculated every year. That means if your income is higher or lower year after year, your IRMAA status can change.

What are the Medicare rule changes for 2023?

For 2023, the Part A deductible will be $1,600 per stay, an increase of $44 from 2022. For those people who have not worked long enough to qualify for premium-free Part A, the monthly premium will also rise. The full Part A premium will be $506 a month in 2023, a $7 increase.