It is if you hit the Medicare prescription drug gap, commonly called the donut hole.
The tax-free, one-time $250 rebate check is part of the Health Care Reform Implementation, and the first step towards closing the donut hole – the period during which retirees must pay for all of their prescription drugs.
However, Teamster retirees who get prescription drug coverage directly from a Teamster Health & Welfare fund may not qualify for this benefit. That's because the coverage you already have is better than most Medicare Part D coverage.
If you're not sure whether you qualify, please ask your plan administrator. If you do qualify, you don't need to provide any personal information (such as 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 calls you about it. TTY users should call 1-800-486-2048.
Why will some people be getting checks?
Because the new health are reform law created a program to help retirees with the high cost of prescription drugs. The "Medicare Part D Coverage Gap Discount Program" pays $250 toward prescription drugs when participants reach the coverage gap or "donut hole." The program is for retirees eligible for Medicare.
What is the coverage gap?
The coverage gap occurs when the total drug spending by the plan and the participant reaches $2,830, until the total out-of-pocket cost reaches $4,550. Many retired Teamsters actually have prescription drug coverage that is much better that Medicare Part D and do not have any coverage gap at all.
Who will get the check?
Retirees who participate in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage Program with Prescription Drugs (MA-PD). Retirees won't get a check if they've enrolled in prescription drug programs that don't have a coverage gap.
What can I expect if I'm eligible to receive a check?
You will receive a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate check in the mail. Beginning on January 1, 2011, you will receive a 50% discount on brand name drugs at the pharmacy once you reach the coverage gap.
How will I know if I've reached the coverage gap?
The Explanation of Benefits notice, which your drug plan mails to you each month when you fill a prescription, will tell you how much you've spent on covered drugs and whether you've entered the coverage gap. If your PDP or MA-PD pays some of your costs during the coverage gap, you ill still receive a discount after you've reached the gap starting in January 1, 2011. However, the discount you receive will depend on how much your plan supplements your coverage during the coverage gap. The discount will be only on what you actually pay, and not on the full price of the drug.
Will I need to do anything to get this rebate check?
No. There are no forms to fill out. Medicare will automatically send a check that's made out to you. You don;t need to provide any personal information – like your Medicare, Social Security, or bank account numbers to get the rebate check. Do NOT give your personal information to anyone who calls you about the $250 rebate check.
When will I get the rebate check?
If you reach the coverage gap this year, you will receive a $250 check if you are not already receiving Medicare Extra Help. These checks started being mailed in mid-June. Checks will be mailed monthly throughout the year as beneficiaries enter the coverage gap. However, this is a one-time benefit. If you qualify, you will only receive one check after you reach the coverage gap.
Will I have to pay taxes on this rebate check?
No. It is tax-free.
What if I don't get the check when I should?
If you hit the donut hole after the program has begun, yu should receive your check within 45 days. Your rebate may be delayed if Medicare doesn't have information from your Medicare drug plan showing that you reached the coverage gap in time for mailing. You should call your Medicare drug plan to make sure all of your information has been sent to Medicare.
If you don't get your rebate check, contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE. Individuals receiving Medicare Extra Help will not receive a rebate check. You can also make sure Social Security has your correct home address. Call 1-800-772-1213, or your local Social Security office. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
Have other questions about the $250 rebate check or the Affordable Care Act and Medicare?
You can visit www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE.
– This information was provided to all locals by the IBT Communications Department.