This 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 .