Here are all the articles I wrote during June, 2010. I hope they're useful to you.

June 19th, 2010

Doughnut holes, hold the coffee

If you or anyone you know is currently on Medicare and enrolled in a Part D drug plan, the new “Stealthcare” reform laws enacted this year are now starting to offer you a small safety net… really small.   If you reach the dreaded “doughnut hole” — that place where you have to pay full price for your prescriptions until the catastrophic coverage kicks back in — the feds are mailing out their first round of $250 checks to help offset your costs.  As Medicare people reach the doughnut hole throughout 2010, they will be mailed this $250 rebate check from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).   CMS will automatically send you a check. No forms are needed in order to receive the rebate.

With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (aka “Stealthcare” reform), this doughnut hole will be phased out beginning in 2011 when people stuck in the doughnut hole will receive a 50% discount on brand name drugs and a 7% discount on generic drugs (this discount in the doughnut hole will rise over the years until a 75% threshold is met with a complete phaseout by 2020).   In the meantime, people on Medicare who fall into this doughnut hole will be given a whopping $250 rebate check in order to help costs.

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