The government is mailing $250 checks this week to seniors and the disabled who fall into the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage. The first checks will be sent June 10, three weeks earlier than scheduled, to about 80,000 people. The rebates are the first step in closing the Medicare “donut hole.” The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 4 million seniors will get the rebates in 2010. These payments are part of the new health care reform law.
Seniors and the disabled on Medicare get stuck in the donut hole if their prescription drugs cost too much to be paid for through basic Medicare coverage, but aren’t expensive enough to qualify for catastrophic coverage.