In the next few weeks, consumers using Medicare may start receiving tax-free rebate checks for $250 as part of the Affordable Care Act. This rebate check is aimed at helping to close the “donut hole” and making coverage more affordable to Senior Citizens. The “donut hole” is the coverage gap a Medicare consumer has when they have used all their money for covered drugs and have to start paying for their prescriptions out of pocket. An Explanation of Benefits notice can tell you how much you have spent on drugs, and if you have crossed into the coverage gap.
To be eligible for this rebate, consumers must meet the following criteria:
- You have Medicare prescription drug coverage
- You aren't currently getting Medicare Extra Help
- You have reached the coverage gap
Medicare will automatically send a rebate check in your name. You do not need to provide personal information such as your social security number or bank account information to receive your check. These one- time checks will be mailed throughout the year and consumers should expect to receive their check within 45 days of entering the coverage gap. The checks will be mailed by the Department of the Health and Human Services (HHS) and will include the HHS logo on the envelope.
It is important to know that when a new program is established to help senior citizens it is extremely likely con-artists will take advantage of it to try to steal identities and commit fraud. Your Better Business Bureau urges consumers to be cautious. You do not need to fill out any form to receive a rebate check and you should not receive any phone calls about your check.
For more information on the Medicare rebate, consumers can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or go online to Medicare’s brochure.