Your Weekly Medicare
Consumer Advocacy Update
Readying the Rebates
May 13, 2010
Volume 1, Issue 11
Thousands To Receive Coverage Gap Rebate in June
As required by the new health
care reform law, on June 15,
the Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) will
begin sending $250 rebate
checks to Medicare consumers who have entered the Part D prescription drug coverage gap this year. HHS will continue to mail checks approximately every six weeks, said Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a letter to congressional leaders.
An estimated four million Medicare consumers will receive a check in 2010, and about 80,000 individuals will receive their checks in June. People who qualify for the rebate will receive the check automatically and will not need to fill out any forms.
Secretary Sebelius’s letter also addressed other provisions of health care reform that go into effect in 2010. These include the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, which will reimburse participating employment-based plans for part of the costs of providing health coverage to retirees from age 55 to 64.
Read the letter from Secretary Sebelius.
Medicare Rights Celebrates Volunteerism and Older Americans Month
May is Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme is “Age Strong! Live Long!” Volunteerism is proven to help older adults stay physically and mentally healthier, according to an Urban Institute report. The Medicare Rights Center supports civic engagement among Medicare consumers through its volunteer programs. Volunteers make up over 83 percent of Medicare Rights’s workforce, and many of them have Medicare or will soon qualify for Medicare. These volunteers are in an ideal position to counsel others on how to navigate the program.
Specifically, older Americans volunteering with Medicare Rights Center’s Seniors Out Speaking on Medicare (SOS Medicare) program educate peers in their communities about Medicare benefits, rights and options through short presentations at civic centers, religious institutions, housing complexes and clubs.
Read more about volunteer opportunities at Medicare Rights.
Read President Obama’s Proclamation declaring May 2010 Older Americans Month.
A new resource, Health Reform GPS, is tracking the implementation of health reform. Created by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program of George Washington University, the GPS includes a section devoted to Medicare and will be updated throughout the implementation process.
Use the GPS.
Stay up-to-date on Medicare policy and advocacy developments, and learn about changes in Medicare benefits and rules with this weekly newsletter.
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The Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives.
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