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Medicare Part D rebate checks reach 1 million mark

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 13, 2010

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More than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries have received a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate check to defray prescription drug costs, the Dept. of Health and Human Services announced Aug. 30. The relief for seniors who hit the Part D coverage gap, or "doughnut hole," is part of the health system reform law President Obama signed this year. Medicare expects to distribute 3 million more checks.

"Many seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare face extraordinary prescription drug costs, and too often stop following the drug regimens that their doctors have recommended as a result," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "These checks will make a difference in helping seniors continue to get the medications they need, and are one of many ways that the Affordable Care Act is helping seniors."

As another way to help with the coverage gap, all Medicare beneficiaries will receive free preventive care services, such as mammograms and certain colon cancer tests, and a free annual physical starting in 2011.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/09/13/gvbf0913.htm.

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