Press Release             

Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications

February 19, 2010

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on Release of Preliminary 2011 Payment Rates for Private Medicare Health and Drug Plans

New York, NY—The good news in today’s announcement is that, unlike in past years, the coverage gap in the Medicare drug benefit—the so-called doughnut hole when consumers must pay full price for their medicine—is not expected to grow in 2011. For technical reasons related to how the drug benefit parameters are calculated, the coverage gap will actually shrink by $10. That is not a lot, however, compared to a $3,600 gap in coverage that creates a real hardship for older adults and people with disabilities who need expensive medicines. The Medicare Rights Center looks forward to working with the Obama Administration and Congress on closing the doughnut hole in the context of comprehensive health reform legislation.

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.


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