Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

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Himes Announces $250 Checks for Seniors in Rx Donut Hole Start Tomorrow

June 9, 2010
Press Release

Washington, DC –Tomorrow seniors who have fallen into the Medicare Part D “donut hole” coverage gap will begin to receive $250 checks to lower their prescription drug costs, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) reminded constituents. More than 4 million seniors who fall into the donut hole will get checks throughout the rest of the year.

“Helping seniors manage out-of-control prescription costs was one of the biggest accomplishments of health care reform,” said Himes. “These checks could cover a few months of drug costs for some seniors. In combination with the 50 percent discount on brand name drugs, seniors should feel some badly needed relief.”

The first $250 checks are being mailed June 10 to Medicare beneficiaries who entered the Medicare Part D coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole,” in the first quarter of 2010.  The donut hole is the period in the prescription drug benefit in which the beneficiary pays 100 percent of the cost of their drugs until they hit the catastrophic coverage.

Health care reform is improving access to quality, affordable care for seniors across the board. Most importantly, reform reins in drug costs and extends the solvency of Medicare by a dozen years.  Reform will also mean better chronic care for seniors, with doctors coordinating more on treatment, and free preventive care.  It will help more seniors stay in their homes with expanded access to community-based care.  For early retirees, reform means important new benefits to help them and their employer afford coverage. Congress is also working to guarantee seniors can keep the Medicare doctor of their choice