As of June 10, Medicare began mailing out $250 "donut hole' checks to seniors stuck in the Medicare Part D drug coverage gap. The checks will help defray the costs of prescription drugs as part of recent health care reform.
Prescription drug costs are a significant burden on the income of seniors in western Wisconsin and across the country. This check is the first step in closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap altogether.
Medicare beneficiaries don't have to do anything to get the check, they will be mailed directly to your home and there are no forms to fill out--do not give personal information to any caller, anyone who writes you, or any individual who comes to your door. Please be on the lookout for fraud.
In 2009, approximately 74,400 Medicare beneficiaries in Wisconsin hit the donut hole and received no extra help to defray the cost of prescription drugs. Now, under health reform, help is on the way. Medicare beneficiaries who hit the gap this year will automatically be mailed a one-time $250 rebate check. The checks are completely paid for through savings found in the health care system and do not add a dime to the federal deficit. The checks are just the first step in reducing prescription drug prices under health care reform. Beginning in 2011, health care reform institutes a 50% discount on brand name drugs in the donut hole and completely closes the donut hole by 2020. The average senior who enters the donut hole will save $700 in 2011 and over $3000 by 2020.