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Nearly 8,000 Central Coast Seniors Receive Prescription Rebates

$250 tax-free checks are distributed under the health-care reform law

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced Friday that because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, nearly 8,000 seniors in the 23rd Congressional District who were enrolled in Medicare Part D and affected by the “donut hole” received a $250 rebate check to help cover the cost of their prescriptions in 2010.

The assistance provided to seniors in the 23rd Congressional District totaled nearly $2 million.

“The results are in and the historic health-care reform law is already benefiting Central Coast seniors,” Capps said. “Last year, nearly 8,000 seniors in towns from Cambria to Oxnard and all in between received $250 tax-free rebate checks to cover the cost of their prescription drugs. For seniors struggling to pay for their prescriptions, this $2 million of assistance made a real difference in keeping them healthy and financially stable. That’s just one of the many reasons I will be voting against repealing this new law next week.”

Next week, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives will try to push through legislation to repeal the health reform law. The repeal would take away this and many other important protections for Central Coast seniors contained in the bill, such as annual physicals and preventive screenings including mammograms and colonoscopies, without co-payments.

“The new majority in Washington is playing politics with the health and well-being of our nation’s seniors,” Capps said. “I will continue to work to keep these critical new benefits intact for Medicare beneficiaries, and to support the health reform law which will close the dreaded ‘donut hole’ for good.”

As a result of the health-care reform law, seniors in the Medicare Part D coverage gap — often referred to as the “donut hole” — automatically received a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate check to help cover the cost of their prescriptions. In 2011, further assistance will be given as name-brand prescriptions in the donut hole are discounted 50 percent for seniors who fall into the “donut hole. And by 2019, the “donut hole” will be closed.

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

 

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