Following the passage of national health care reform legislation earlier this year, many seniors have already taken advantage of the new benefits provided by the law. For example, Medicare Part D beneficiaries in our area who enter the prescription drug coverage gap – the so-called “donut hole” – have already begun to receive their $250 rebate check in the mail. A total of more than 4 million seniors who face the donut hole will get checks throughout the rest of the year.
With these important benefits in mind, I wanted to let you know about new efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration on Aging and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to give seniors the information they need to protect themselves against scams and fraud when it comes to their Medicare benefits. As part of this educational campaign, seniors are being encouraged to keep the following in mind:
- There are no forms to fill out to receive the $250 rebate check once you qualify for it. Medicare will automatically send a check that is made out to you. You do NOT need to provide any personal information such as your Medicare, Social Security or bank account numbers to get the rebate check.
- Don’t give your personal information to anyone who calls you about the $250 rebate check. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report anyone who does this. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
You can visit www.stopmedicarefraud.gov to learn more about how Medicare is working with law enforcement to stop scams against seniors. The more seniors know about health care reform and the steps they can take to stay on guard against scams and fraud, the easier it will be to take full advantage of the new benefits being made available to them.
For more information about the benefits of health care reform, I encourage you to visit my website at costello.house.gov.