IA Medicare gap checks mailed - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

IA Medicare gap checks mailed

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL)-– Senator Tom Harkin announced Thursday that the first round of checks have been mailed to Iowa seniors impacted by the Medicare Part D coverage gap.  The tax-free, $250 rebate checks were mailed to seniors who have already hit the "donut hole" and do not receive Medicare Extra Help.  Checks will be mailed each month to seniors as they encounter the gap in their prescription drug coverage to help cover their costs. 

Last year, approximately 43,106 Medicare beneficiaries in Iowa hit the donut hole and did not qualify for Medicare Extra Help to defray the cost of their prescription drugs.

"Iowa seniors should have access to quality, affordable health care, and soon, they will see some of those immediate benefits of the new health reform law," Senator Harkin said. 

"These checks will help plug the gap in coverage and make much-needed medication easier to obtain.  It is important for Iowa seniors to know they do not have to do anything to receive this rebate check -- it will be automatically mailed to them when they reach the donut hole, if they don't already receive Medicare Extra Help," he continued.

In addition to the monthly checks, starting in 2011 Iowa Medicare beneficiaries who do not receive Medicare Extra Help will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs and biologics they purchase when they are in the coverage gap.  The coverage in the gap will increase on top of the discount until 2020, when the donut hole will be completely filled in.   

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