Project for Doughnut Hole Tool Kit

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The Doughnut Hole Toolkit is designed for you to help others find out if they are at risk of falling into the Medicare Part D coverage gap and therefore, paying much of the cost of their prescription drugs. The tool generates options for people to discuss with their doctor to avoid unnecessary expense. Your involvement will make a difference.

The Problem

Medicare Part D, which helps seniors pay for prescription medications, limits prescription drug assistance when an individual’s yearly drug costs surpass a certain level ($2,970 in 2013). Medicare Part D assistance starts again when the person’s drug costs reach another amount ($4,750 in 2013). The gap between those two amounts is the “doughnut hole” or coverage gap. In 2013, seniors who are in the coverage gap will get a 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs and a 21% discount on generic prescription drugs. In 2014, the brand-name discount will remain the same and the generic drug discount will increase to 28%. Someone you know may fall into this coverage gap.

About 3 million people — one fourth of Medicare Part D enrollees who have filled any prescription — fall into the doughnut hole coverage gap each year.

The Solution

You can use AARP’s Doughnut Hole Calculator to help determine if a friend or loved one is at risk of falling into the doughnut hole and whether he or she can save money on medications. The calculator is a free online tool that does the math while preserving the user’s privacy. The calculator will offer suggestions for reducing their prescription drug costs so they can postpone hitting the gap or even avoid it entirely.

Time Commitment

30 minutes or less

Special Considerations


Who can do this?

Everyone who knows someone who is enrolled in Medicare Part D.

Great Reasons to do this Project

Help a friend or loved one save money on prescription drugs and avoid or postpone the Part D coverage gap.