Avoiding the Medicare Doughnut Hole

Avoiding the Medicare Doughnut Hole

Even with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – Obamacare by any other name – well in place and affirmed by the Supreme Court, the costs paid and lifestyles lived by many is being tied to the "doughnut hole." This especially is true for seniors taking depression medications.

As recently reported in Med Page Today, a new study by Yuting Zhang, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, Medicare may not fully cover depression medications for seniors, despite the ACA. The article is titled "Antidepressants 'Fall' Through Doughnut Hole."

If you are unfamiliar with the "doughnut hole" issue, you are not alone. It is the coverage gap created by Medicare Part D. For those whose income is at the lower end, there tends to be coverage. Likewise, for those who have an upper-end income, there is still coverage… with a gap in between.

According to the new study, and sheer intuition, patients that fall within the doughnut hole are associated with a significant drop in medication use – 12% on average. That is always relevant, but perhaps especially so in the case of depression medication. While discontinuing any prescribed medication is never advisable, it is often easier to justify foregoing depression medication than other medications.

I certainly recommend reading the original article for more details regarding this study, should this issue be relevant to you or someone you love.

Trying to keep up to date on Medicaid, Medicare or any other issues faced by America's Elderly can be a daunting task. At Idaho Estate Planning, we understand these challenges. We have the experience and expertise to help you maintain your options and protect yourself as well as your loved ones now and into the future. Remember, good planning is no accident.

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