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AARP's Medicare Question and Answer Tool

When does the doughnut hole go away?


En español | The Medicare Part D doughnut hole will gradually narrow until it completely closes in 2020. Persons who receive Extra Help in paying for their Part D plan do not pay additional copays, even for prescriptions filled in the doughnut hole.

However, even after the coverage gap is gone, everyone on Part D will still have the same level of cost sharing — about 25 percent — from the time you meet your deductible until the time you reach catastrophic coverage. Catastrophic coverage remains in place even after the coverage gap goes away. Catastrophic coverage starts when your total out-of-pocket drug costs have climbed to a certain amount. After that point, you only have a 5 percent copay.


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