Sen. Bill Nelson helping to keep the ‘donut hole’ closing as GOP acts to reopen it.

Nelson aims to prevent repeal of Medicare ‘donut hole’ provisions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson filed legislation Thursday to prevent Congress from repealing key provisions of the Affordable Care Act that he said on average have saved many of Florida’s Medicare-covered seniors almost $1,000 per year on prescription drugs.

The measure, filed as an amendment to a broader budget bill currently under debate, would prevent the Senate from considering any legislation that repeals the Affordable Care Act’s provisions aimed at closing the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, commonly known as the “donut hole.”

Under current law, when a Medicare beneficiary spends $3,700 on prescription drugs in a single year, that beneficiary becomes responsible for a larger share of the cost of their prescription drugs until the beneficiary’s total out-of-pocket costs for the year reach $4,950, at which time Medicare will resume paying for the drugs.

Before the 2010 health care law took effect, the gap in coverage started at $2,700 and ended at $6,100. The provisions included in the ACA have shrunk that gap and aim to close it by 2020. Nelson’s measure would protect those provisions, ensuring seniors continue to save even if Congress repeals the rest of the law.


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