No Longer Caught in the Medicare "Doughnut Hole"

The costs of treating a debilitating illness forced her into foreclosure. The healthcare bill could finally bring relief

With the pain under control I can participate in life to a certain extent. I still have incredible sensitivity in my central nervous system to noise and light and large groups of people. I missed my own daughter’s wedding because I couldn’t do it. This was my fourth Christmas where people come up one by one and say hi and visit with me, because I just can't handle a big crowd because my auditory system is so sensitive.

I think that if the government identifies someone as disabled, that there shouldn’t be a doughnut hole. How can a disabled person create money out of thin air? Luckily, the New Year brings us back to full coverage, but when we hit the doughnut hole in 2010, I can’t imagine what other choice my husband and I will have than to get divorced. As a single person I would qualify for better benefits.

How would health care reform help Jenna?

The Medicare Part D doughnut hole will begin to be eliminated now under the Senate-passed reconciliation bill, saving Jenna thousands of dollars. Her brand-name drugs will be discounted 50 percent in 2011, and that savings will increase to 75 percent by 2020. Generic drugs would be equally discounted (although in some Medicare plans, there is no copay for generics.) In addition, she will receive a $250 federal rebate if she pays any money into the doughnut hole this year.

Plus: 

After struggling for years, a sickle cell anemia sufferer may finally get coverage under the new healthcare bill.

His cancer bills nearly cost them their home; the new legislation will provide relief, but they’ll have to wait four years to get most of it.

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