Prescription Medicare for the Elderly

Signed by President Obama to become law, it’s a major overhaul to the general health care system of the US. One of its benefits to the patient is that the law requires that all insurance companies cover every applicant at an equal rate irrespective of previous health conditions. Thus the elderly who are likely to have suffered from diseases that would skyrocket their insurance rates are at an advantage. Gender is also not to be considered in the provision of insurance services. To increase the coverage rate, the law offers tax credits, mandates and subsidies to t both individuals and employers. (Hill, J. 2012)

The donut hole which formally went by the name Medicare part D is when a beneficiary of the Medicare program exceeds their prescription drug cover maximum, the beneficiary is now held financially accountable for the entire cost of prescription medications until the expenditure reaches the catastrophic coverage threshold. It is fancifully compared to a doughnut; it offers pleasure to the consumer only up to when it he hits the center, no pleasure, then returns to the sweet and happy part.

The Journal of Internal Medicine’s research has shown that 16% of the total seniors the journal sampled for a survey fell in this gap, the doughnut hole. 3% of them had entered into the gap in the first 180 days of that year. Only 75 of them were eligible for the catastrophic coverage. They had already began to get prescribed drugs at discounted prices.

One falls into the "doughnut hole" once they pass the first threshold of expenditure on prescription drugs. A Medicare subscriber who has already spent $2,830 on subsidized prescription medicine has to now cater for the whole amount on all their drugs till they get to the subsequent threshold of spending. This one starts at $4,550, and is called the "catastrophic coverage" stage. While one is between both thresholds, they are termed as being in the "doughnut hole." (Barry, P. 2008)

Obamacare promises to abolish this system. In its place, the new program will offer a more continuous medical coverage for subscribers. It is planned that Medicare share costs rise and this will abolish the doughnut hole by 2020. It is good news for senior citizens but bad for those who fight for control of healthcare expenditure.

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