Affordable Care Act pays off for Medicare beneficiaries, Sebelius says

WASHINGTON More than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries have received prescription drug cost relief through the Affordable Care Act, Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

Eligible beneficiaries automatically receive rebate checks in the mail — which are designed to help beneficiaries save money on their prescription drugs — when they reach the coverage gap, or "doughnut hole," and they don't have to sign up to be eligible for the rebates. Next year, those who fall into the doughnut hole will receive a 50% discount on covered brand-name medications while in the coverage gap. In addition to helping Medicare beneficiaries save on prescription drug costs, the Affordable Care Act also seeks to prevent fraud against seniors, Sebelius said.

"Many seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare face extraordinary prescription drug costs, and too often stop following the drug regimens that their doctors have recommended as a result," Sebelius said. "These checks will make a difference in helping seniors continue to get the medications they need, and are one of many ways that the Affordable Care Act is helping seniors."

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