Medicare doughnut hole

Medicare Part D pays for prescription medicines for Medicare recipients.  The program assists with costs until the recipient reaches $2,830 in total drug costs for one year, then the program stops paying until the recipient reaches $4,550 for the year, then the program pays everything.  The gap in payments between $2,830 and $4,550 in out-of-packet expenses is called the "doughnut hole."

Beginning immediately, Medicare Part D prescription drug recipients will receive a $250 rebate when they enter the donut hole.  Over the next several years, the donut hole will be progressively narrowed until it is completely closed in 2020.  The federal government will also progressively cover an increasing amount of the cost of drugs in the Medicare Part D program.

Arkansas Implementation

By the end of 2010, nearly 19,000 Arkansas seniors had received Medicare rebate checks.