Millions of senior Americans are seeing their drug costs skyrocket after maxing out their early coverage, the Washington Post reported.
The gap in insurance, popularly called the donut hole, is a provision in most of the private plans offered in Medicare's new Part D prescription drug program, the newspaper said.
Under a standard plan this year, Medicare handles 75 percent of drug costs after a deductible until the bill reaches $2,250. Coverage does not kick in again until those costs total $5,100.
The very poor, however, are eligible for special subsidies.
The Congressional Budget Office and the Kaiser Family Foundation projected that about 7 million recipients would be affected by the donut hole this year, the newspaper said.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Global health experts call into question sub-Saharan cancer data