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State

Illinois Medicare 'doughnut hole' savings average $801

CHICAGO – Thousands of Illinois residents with high medication costs are seeing some gains from a provision of the Affordable Care Act.

The federal government announced figures earlier this week on how the law is closing the prescription drug “doughnut hole,” a spending level that isn’t covered by Medicare. The numbers include a breakdown by state.

The government says that during the first 10 months of 2013, nearly 115,000 Illinoisans who reached the coverage gap have saved an average of $801 per person.

The “doughnut hole” is the gap in the Medicare prescription drug benefit before catastrophic coverage for prescriptions takes effect. A provision in President Barack Obama’s health care law gradually closes the doughnut hole by giving Medicare beneficiaries discounts.

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