Aging Parents: Medicare Part D Doughnut Hole Savings in 2011

According to a May 21, 2010, press release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in 2011 Medicare Part D beneficiaries will see a 50 percent savings on applicable drugs in the doughnut (donut) hole coverage gap. CMS has issued new guidelines to ensure that these savings occur. The discount will apply to brand name medications and some generics purchased in the doughnut (donut) hole.

Let’s hope that the United States Senate approves Dr. Don Berwick as the head of CMS without too much political grandstanding. He is a steadfast ally of quality healthcare for all, including seniors. CMS has not had a confirmed director since Dr. Mark McClellan, a physician, health economist, and able administrator during the Bush presidency, left the agency in October 2006. Dr. Mc Clellan, a Republican, spoke on National Public Radio supporting Dr.Berwick as the next head of CMS.

Going without a leader for so long hinders the functioning and leadership of any agency, and in this case of an organization that greatly affects the lives and health of our aging parents. Senators who posture against Dr. Berwick are doing a disservice to all of their constituents who depend on Medicare. Read my March 2010 post on Dr. Berwick.

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