NORTH LITTLE ROCK —As a result of the Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama this year, Medicare beneficiaries who have Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) will be eligible for a $250 rebate check this year when they reach the coverage gap, also called the donut hole.[more]
Most Part D plans have a coverage gap; that is, they provide coverage up to a certain amount per year and then require beneficiaries to pay all drug costs until the total amount is high enough to qualify for catastrophic coverage. Part D beneficiaries can see how much they have spent and whether they have entered the coverage gap on their monthly Explanation of Benefits notices.
Beth Landon, CareLink Vice President for Community Services, warns Part D beneficiaries not to give out personal information to anyone calling about the rebate check. “When your drug expenses reach the donut hole, Medicare will automatically send you a $250 check,” she said. “There is no need to give anyone your Medicare, Social Security or bank account number in order to get the check. If anyone calls on the pretense of signing you up for the rebate, immediately report this by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (663-4227).” TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Checks will begin going out in mid-June. Beneficiaries can expect their checks within 45 days of entering the donut hole.
“If your check is late, it could be that your Part D insurance company has not sent your information to Medicare,” Landon said. “You should call your company to ask if your records have been sent. If they have and you still haven’t gotten your check, call Medicare.”
Those enrolled in Medicare Extra Help will not receive the rebate because they already have assistance with the coverage gap. “People can apply for Extra Help year-round,” Landon said. “Generally, individuals with monthly income of no more than $1,354 and married couples with monthly income of no more than $1,823 qualify.”
More information and free assistance in applying for Extra Help is available at CareLink Information and Assistance, 501-372-5300 or 1-800-492-6359.
CareLink, a private, nonprofit agency, provides services and resources to older people and their families in Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, Pulaski and Saline counties.