WASHINGTON, D.C. – The first batch of rebate checks from the Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in March, are being sent to seniors impacted by the Medicare Part D “donut hole,” U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced.
The “donut hole” is a gap in prescription drug coverage that affected 109,000 New Jerseyans in 2009. Most Medicare prescription drug plans have a coverage gap that begins when the total retail cost of drugs — not the out-of-pocket cost — reaches $2,830. Seniors must pay for all drug costs up to $4,550 before Medicare drug coverage resumes.
Medicare beneficiaries who hit the “donut hole” this year will be mailed a $250 rebate check. The first rebate checks go out on Thursday to eligible New Jersey seniors who have already hit the “donut hole” this year, with additional rebates mailed monthly throughout the year as new beneficiaries hit the “donut hole.”
“Rebate checks from the new health care reform law are in the mail for New Jersey seniors impacted by the Medicare ‘donut hole.’ This is an important first step toward making quality care more affordable for all Americans,” Lautenberg said. “Seniors should never have to choose between paying their bills and purchasing their prescriptions. That’s why it’s so important to close the Medicare ‘donut hole’ and make sure our seniors can afford the health care they need.”
The Affordable Care Act phases out the prescription drug coverage ‘donut hole.’ The health reform law provides additional discounts on prescription drugs for seniors in the years ahead and will completely close the ‘donut hole’ by 2020.
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