November 10, 2012 | Back to: Columns

Doughnut or donut?

I’m sure Homer Simpson doesn’t know which spelling is correct, and I’m positive he wouldn’t care. Dunkin’ says “donuts,” but they misspell dunking, so can they be trusted?

I could probably talk for hours about them. Glazed, sprinkled, powdered, jelly; even bear claws, crullers and éclairs. But the doughnut (donut) that is garnering more attention these days is the gap in prescription drug coverage through Medicare, to be specific, a doughnut (donut) hole. The doughnut (donut) hole is the period of coverage in which the consumer bears the most responsibility for the cost of prescription drugs.

According to a 2008 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 3.4 million Medicare Part D plan participants reached the coverage gap in their coverage in 2007. That number accounted for more than 25 percent of all people who joined a Medicare drug plan and filled a prescription in 2007. The consumers’ responsibility during the gap in 2007 was 100 percent of the cost.

A part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that isn’t getting much air time is the eventual filling of the doughnut (donut) hole. Last year, if you reached the doughnut (donut) hole, your responsibility was 50 percent, down from 100 percent. Medicare will phase in additional discounts on the cost of both brand and generic drugs. By 2020, these changes will effectively close the coverage gap and lower your responsibility to 25 percent of the costs.

Now back to the great doughnut (donut) debate. The two are virtually interchangeable and universally accepted, but donut is decisively more American and, thus, wins easily. But really the deciding factor was donut being much easier for someone who types with two fingers, laugh if you want, but I ate a donut while typing this!

Mick Collins lives in Grass Valley.

Medicare will phase in additional discounts on the cost of both brand and generic drugs.

other voices
Mick Collins


Explore Related Articles

The Union Updated Nov 16, 2012 12:07PM Published Nov 15, 2012 07:39AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.