U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer released a county by county report showing that the newly implemented Medicare “donut hole” fix will put $2.2 billion directly in the pocket of New York Seniors. In the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, 16,752 seniors will save an estimated $151 million over the next 10 years.

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer released a county by county report showing that the newly implemented Medicare “donut hole” fix will put $2.2 billion directly in the pocket of New York Seniors. In the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, 16,752 seniors will save an estimated $151 million over the next 10 years.

After five years of burdening New York seniors, the “donut dole” will finally be closed as part of the health care reform law. The fix went into effect Jan. 1.

Unlike most other types of health insurance, the Medicare drug benefit was designed with a coverage gap, or “donut hole.” Seniors enter the donut hole once their total yearly drug costs have exceeded $2,800, and while in the donut hole they must pay for all of their drugs out of pocket, as well as continuing to pay the full monthly premium. This procedure will be closed as part of health care reform.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama in March 2010, seniors who get stuck in the donut hole will now see the costs of their brand name drugs discounted by 50 percent. This means that seniors who have high prescription drug spending will save as much as $9,000 over the next 10 years.