$250 Medicare Donut Hole Checks

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Department of Health and Human Services LogoThis week, the first batch of $250 Medicare Donut Hole Checks will be mailed out to the estimated 4 million eligible Medicare recipients. If you’re set to receive a $250 donut hole check, you don’t have to do anything. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise, you will receive your check automatically when it’s time.

The check will be sent out by the Department of Health and Human Services and the HHS logo (shown to the right) will be prominently displayed. The letter itself will be mailed from a Wisconsin address from one of the HHS’ Medicare contractors.

Who will receive these checks? People on Medicare who have exceed $2,830 in drug costs this year and find themselves in the Medicare donut hole. The Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage works out like this for 2010:

  • $310 deductible, after which,
  • It pays 75% of prescription costs up to $2,830, and,
  • 100% of costs above $6,440.

Between $2830 and $6440, Medicare pays nothing. It’s called the Medicare Part D prescription donut hole and it was fixed by the health reform bill passed earlier this year, but that fix won’t be implemented until 2011.

For now, the $250 payment is a bit of help to those who are in that donut hole. It doesn’t plug the hole but it does provide some relief.

There are more answers in this FAQ at HHS.

{ 50 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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50 Responses to “$250 Medicare Donut Hole Checks”

  1. nina says:

    $250 indeed is a joke to give to anyone, when the Pentagon spends Millions in just one minute, and Billions/week. To Heal is Cheaper then to Kill.
    All the greedy blame the poor, though the poor work for dimes for the greedy, just to exist.
    A good system is: Eliminate welfare, put a cap on uncontrolled prices, Make the oil companies pay us monthly funds for sucking our minerals that belong to us too, and Government should provide health care for all since the private insurance companies are crooks. Any private sector gets belled out by US tax payers $$$ then move to China, the USA Government should reject their products entering USA. Every 10 years the Government should give one $million/citizen. that is only $280Million. People if unemployed should volunteer by law.

  2. CAROLYN says:


  3. No Pot 2 P In says:

    What’s Wrong With This Picture??? Medicare is automatically deducted from your SS check before you get it. You pay 12 months out of the year for a supplemental only to find out that in September (and some earlier) that you’ve reached a doughnut hole and now have to pay for your meds out of pocket. If you’re on welfare or SSI or one of our elected officials in DC, guess what? You’re exempt from this. Now the gov says you’re entitled to a one-time payment of $250.00 to help with your out of pocket expenses once you reach the “sweet” doughnut hole. What an insult!! So what happens if you’re on Coreg, Plavix, Oxygen, Nitro patches, Lasix, Glucovance, Insulin, Lisinopril, Plendil, Spriva, Albuterol,K-dur, sugar test strips and C-pap supplies? What do you stop taking?

  4. Donna says:

    my parents are in a pickle with this donut hole they cannot afford to buy the medicine to meet the requirements for the donut hole they cannot afford to pay for medicine out of ther pocket at all so they are not buying or taking there medicine at all what are they suppose to do lay down and die they need help can someone tell me what they can do

  5. John says:

    I have spent enough on drugs to be in the “DONUT” HOLE. No check yet! I don’t think the gov. knows how much I spent!!

  6. Joy Martin says:

    Reached donut hole in September. No check yet Insurance company Cigna says it can take about 4 months. The Government never gets in a hurry on anything.

  7. evelyn j tyre says:

    I would like to know if those of us who belong to an Advantage Plan an are in the doughnut hole will also be receiving the $250.00 check. I have a plan with Secure Horizons Medicare Complete.
    Thank you, Evelyn Tyre.

  8. Patricia says:

    I have Railroad Retirement and I have reached the donut hole am I still to receive the donut hole check this year

  9. P Johnson says:

    I guess after reading all this I won’t be looking for the $250.00 check. I called BCBS and was told that the cut off day is the 14th. I think that means the day you get in the donut hole if before the 14th you get the check that month, if after 14th it would be the next month. I went in the hole Nov. 13th. I was hoping I would get a check in Dec. 2010 or Jan. 2011 but it looks like its just a joke. Oh well, I will survive with Gods help.

  10. dharma41 says:

    Medicare and Social Security have a program for people with limited income and resources that helps you pay for your prescription drugs. If you qualify, you could pay between $1-$6 for each drug.
    Apply with Social Security by visiting or by calling 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
    Individuals already receiving Medicare Extra Help will not receive a rebate check.

    • WILLIE says:

      Sure, but it depends on how little you get and being a person like others that have two pensions some of us will never qualify.

  11. Dee says:

    Some people that are not in the donut hole are getting checks in2011. In fact are in employer programs so they never get to the donut hole. Is this another screw up?

  12. WILLIE says:

    I am still waiting for my check and I hit the donut hole as of November of 2010.

    • willie says:

      I got my check yesterday, but my question is can we cash it or do we have to use it to pay medical bills we have already paid. I don’t want to hold on to it for six months until I hit the donut hole again because that money can be of some use right now.

  13. WILLIE says:

    I have to take some of my medication ( Actos and Crestor ) every other day otherwise I may not have the money to pay after I have reached the donut hole. Why is medication so expensive. No wonder people are dying because they can’t afford to stay alive. Get rid of Welfare, Food Stamps, EIC, ect. and help pay for the medicine of those that paid all their life, so these people can eat better and live longer then the average person.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I read all these comments, we are a sorry country when we don’t take care of our own. I am 74 and still working-if you have a job that has benefits hold on to it as long as you can.
    I have kept working because I don’t want to live in poverty the rest of my life. I spend a lot on prescriptions, but I do get some discounts because I am still working. Don’t elect people unless you know what they are going to do. Don’t believe them because they say they are a republican/democrat or tea party. Look at their record and see what they stand for, if they don’t help seniors don’t vote for them. People need to get involved. P.S find out about every govt. program that will help you. Ask your neighbors to help with the red tape. Good luck. Shirley

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