Press Release             

Contact: Akiko Takano
Deputy Director of Communications

June 10, 2010

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on
the $250 Rebate Checks to People with Medicare Who Enter the Doughnut Hole

New York, NY—Today the Department of Health and Human Services will begin sending $250 rebate checks to Medicare consumers in the doughnut hole. This represents a victory for people with Medicare. Their voices have been critical in the five-year-long effort to eliminate the doughnut hole in Medicare drug coverage.

In 2010, people in the doughnut hole will receive the $250 rebate check. Beginning next year, consumers in the doughnut hole will receive discounts on drugs, which will increase through 2020, when the share of their drug costs in the coverage gap reaches the standard 25 percent.

It is very important for consumers to know that these one-time-only checks will be mailed automatically after they enter the doughnut hole. Medicare consumers should be wary of fraud and identity theft. There are no forms to fill out. Medicare consumers should not provide personal information, such as Social Security numbers, Medicare numbers, or bank account numbers, to anyone who contacts them about the $250 rebate. Questions about the $250 checks and reports about possible fraud should be addressed to 1-800-MEDICARE.

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.


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