Senator Boxer: New Benefits for Medicare Beneficiaries
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I want to be sure that you got the good news: This week we start closing the unfair and harmful “donut hole” – the gap in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage that has caused severe hardships for so many American seniors.
In the next few days, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will start sending $250 rebate checks to Medicare beneficiaries who have already fallen into the coverage gap for 2010. CMS will continue mailing rebate checks all year long as more people enter the donut hole.
The $250 rebate is funded by the Affordable Care Act, the new health care reform law that passed Congress earlier this year. Under the new law, Medicare beneficiaries who fall into the “donut hole” will receive additional prescription drug discounts each year, until the donut hole is completely closed by 2020.
In addition, beginning next year, all Medicare patients can get free preventive care services such as mammograms and colorectal cancer screenings along with a free annual physical to develop and update your personal prevention plan so you’ll be healthier.
These and other new benefits for Medicare beneficiaries are described in the recent CMS brochure “Medicare and the New Health Law – What it Means for You.” If you have not already received this brochure in the mail, you can find it at http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/11467.pdf (English version) or http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/11467_S.pdf (Spanish version).
If you have general questions about Medicare or the Affordable Care Act, I encourage you to log on to the official CMS website at www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE. If you’re having problems with your own Medicare coverage, I invite you to call one of my California regional offices or log onto my Senate website for assistance. You’ll find both a list of Boxer Offices and an Assistance form at http://boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/
The Affordable Care Act extends the solvency of Medicare to the year 2029, and it starts improving Medicare coverage for every beneficiary right now. I am proud to have been part of this historic law to improve and extend Medicare coverage for all of America’s seniors.
p.s. If you would like a clear and concise summary of benefits coming to you under the Affordable Care Act, I invite you to visit my special web page at http://boxer.senate.gov/en/issues-legislation/spotlight/healthreform.cfm There you can either download a printable version of my Health Care Reform benefits summary card or order copies to be mailed to you.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer