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Insurance gap leads some elderly to forgo medicine

AP/Yahoo News, August 22, 2008

Many people in Medicare with diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions stop taking their medicine when faced with picking up the entire cost of their prescriptions, researchers say. About 3.4 million older and disabled people hit a gap in their Medicare drug coverage in 2007. When they hit the gap, they had to pay the entire costs of their medicine until they spent $3,850 out of pocket. After that, insurance coverage would kick in again. About 15% of those hitting the coverage gap stopped their treatment regimen, with the rate varying depending upon illness.