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By The Associated Press

The Kaiser Family Foundation says fewer Medicare prescription drug plan enrollees are falling into a coverage gap known as the doughnut hole in which they pay the full cost of their prescriptions.

The foundation says 19 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries hit that gap in 2009, the latest year for which figures are available. That compares to 26 percent in 2007. Kaiser says increased availability of cheaper generic drugs may be behind the drop.

A total of 29 million people are enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan. Enrollees and their drug plans share costs up to a certain amount each year. Then the enrollee pays the full cost for prescriptions before becoming eligible for catastrophic coverage, where the plan resumes paying and covers 95 percent of the bill.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • Insurance agent in NC

    There is help for those in the coverage gap. They sometimes pay 50% or may get more help with this. Also some people can get help for their RX premiums. They really need to find out about this. Call SS, Medicare, etc. Ask doctors to try them on generics first or now. Ask doctors if there are any alternatives ways to get healthier.

    Also my personal thoughts are doctors might consider helping their patients to a healthy lifestyle so the need for such RX meds is lessened. Also patients need to become more proactive about their health. Perhaps they can study about their illness and go to support groups for ideas. Try alternatie ways of healing like prayer, other types of practitioners, wellness courses, etc.
    There are ways to get healthier and lessen the need for RX for many of the patients, of course not all.
    Many type II diabetes patients could try losing weight, getting exercise, changing their diet for example. These things may be hard but much less difficult than the devasting results of worsening diabetes.

    Also, Doctors could study wellness and not just illness to give their patients ideas of how to stay well. That’s all I will say for now.


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