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Volume 10 Issue 4 - October 2009

AARP Offers 'Doughnut Hole' Calculator

Each year, an estimated three million-plus older Americans fall into the "doughnut hole" -- a coverage gap in Medicare’s prescription drug program that leaves individuals on the hook for all of their own drug costs while still paying premiums. The AARP Doughnut Hole Calculator, available at www.aarp.org/doughnuthole, can help you find options to save money and potentially avoid this dreaded coverage gap.

The calculator guides you through your prescription drug options using localized information to determine if or when you will fall into the coverage gap. In about 15 minutes, you can view a graph of your out-of-pocket spending by month, look up lower cost drugs for any health conditions, create a medication record, and print out personalized letters to your doctors to help start a conversation about safely switching prescriptions.

"More than three million people fall into the gap each year, and millions more nervously wonder if they might fall in," said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. "For the first time, people in Medicare have a simple way to learn if they’ll fall into the doughnut hole and find ways to avoid it by switching to safe, less expensive medications."

The calculator is powered by DestinationRx as part of a special arrangement between AARP and Medicare. The data is the same used by the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder, giving users the most accurate and up-to-date drug pricing information available.

Article provided by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).