BY IRENE C. CARD and BETSY CHANDLER
YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE
If you are enrolled in the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, known as Part D Medicare, you know what the doughnut hole is. The doughnut hole is also known as the "coverage gap". This is when you are responsible for the full cost of your prescription drugs in the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
The gap begins when the total cost of your prescriptions reaches a specific amount. This total includes what both you and your plan have paid for covered drugs. In 2010, the coverage gap will begin when you and your plan together have paid $2,830. It means that at this point, you pay for the full cost of your drugs until that cost equals $4,550.
After the gap ends, you will have catastrophic coverage for the remainder of the calendar year. At this point, depending on your plan, you will pay 5 percent of the cost of each drug or $2.50 for generics and $6.30 for brand-name drugs, whichever is greater.