1,670 Seniors in California’s 39th Congressional District Have Already Received “Donut Hole” Checks As a Result of Health Reform
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Linda Sanchez announced that 1,670 seniors in California’s 39th District have received the $250 ‘donut hole’ checks, according to new data. The checks were provided by the health reform law, to begin to close the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap. In total, these seniors in her district have received a total of $417,500 to help pay their high drug costs.
Additionally, 5,130 seniors in the 39th District are expected to enter the donut hole before the end of 2010 and will also receive a $250 check to help with their prescription drug costs. By the end of the year, a total of 6,800 seniors in the district will have received $1.7 million in assistance to help cover the cost of their drugs.
“The high cost of prescription drugs strains the finances of too many seniors,” said Rep. Linda Sánchez. “These checks are a down payment on reducing drug costs for seniors and eventually closing the Medicare Donut hole completely. I’m glad seniors are receiving a little extra help to buy the prescriptions they need to live happy and healthy lives in their golden years.”
One of the immediate benefits of the health reform legislation is this assistance to seniors with high drug costs. This year, all seniors who have prescription drug expenses of $2,830 or more – and thereby enter the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ coverage gap – are receiving a one-time tax-free $250 rebate check.
In addition, under health reform, Medicare Part D donut hole benefits will increase beginning in January 2011, when all seniors who hit the donut hole receive a 50% discount on brand-name drugs, saving the average senior entering the donut hole more than $500 annually.