The Affordable Care Act Includes Important Benefits for Medicare Recipients
Are you a Medicare recipient? If so, Benefits.gov wants you to be aware of new legislation that could help you with prescription drug costs: the Affordable Care Act.

Most Medicare drug plans have what is called a ?coverage gap,? which, according to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, means that after the recipient?s plan has covered the cost of prescription drugs up to a certain amount, all additional costs must be paid out-of-pocket, up to a certain limit. You can find out whether or not you have entered the coverage gap and reached the amount spent on covered drugs by reading your Explanation of Benefits notice sent each month when a prescription is filled.

The best part of the Affordable Care Act is that there is no application process needed to benefit from the legislation. If you are not already receiving Medicare Extra Help as a Medicare recipient, then you will automatically receive a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate check from Medicare. After June 10, 2010, Medicare recipients who have reached the coverage gap, or donut hole, should receive the check within 45 days of doing so.

A recent analysis issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that the average savings under the Affordable Care Act will amount to more than $3,500 over the next 10 years for those enrolled in traditional Medicare and as much as $12,300 over the next 10 years for seniors and people with disabilities who are likely to have high prescription drug costs.

To learn more about the next step to closing the coverage gap, visit Medicare.gov, the official U.S. Government website for Medicare, or read the Closing the Prescription Drug Coverage Gap brochure about this one-time, tax-free rebate.

This holiday season, let Benefits.gov help you find the government programs that you or a family member may be eligible to receive. Click ?Start Now? on the homepage to begin answering questions in the confidential Benefit Finder. The more questions you answer, the more likely you are to be eligible for the benefits that appear in your Benefit Results List.