(NewsUSA) – Did you reach the coverage gap, or “donut hole,” in your Medicare prescription drug coverage this year? If so, you may qualify to get a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate check to help with your prescription drug costs. This important new benefit, included in the Affordable Care Act, is the first step toward closing the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap.
Most Medicare drug plans have a coverage gap. This means that after you and your plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered drugs, you have to pay all costs out-of-pocket (up to a limit).
If you qualify, and you reach the coverage gap in 2010, Medicare will automatically send you a $250 rebate check made out to you.
* You don’t need to fill out any forms.
* You don’t need to provide any personal information, like your Medicare, Social Security or bank account numbers, to get the rebate check.
Don’t give your personal information to anyone who calls you about the $250 rebate check.
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report anyone who does this. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Checks will be mailed monthly throughout the year. You can expect to get your rebate check about 45 days after the month you reach the coverage gap in 2010. If you don’t get your rebate check, wait another month and then contact the toll-free Medicare customer service center at 1-800-MEDICARE. Your rebate may be delayed if Medicare doesn’t have information from your drug plan in time to include you in the mailing. If you get “Extra Help” to pay your Medicare drug costs, you don’t qualify for the rebate check, since you are already receiving savings. If you are enrolled in a qualified retiree prescription drug plan, you are also not eligible to receive a rebate check.
Remember, the $250 rebate is a one-time benefit to help you with your prescription drug costs if you reach the coverage gap in your Medicare prescription drug coverage in 2010. If you reach the coverage gap in 2011, you will get a 50 percent discount on covered brand-name drugs and a 7 percent discount on covered generic drugs when you buy them.
To learn more about the $250 coverage gap rebate, visit www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE. More information is available at www.healthcare.gov, a new Web portal made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.