The first round of $250 rebate checks were mailed to senior citizens who have reached the doughnut hole in Medicare RX. It is estimated that 80,000 seniors will get checks as they're already in the doughnut hole, which is reached when prescription costs exceed $2,830 but are less than $4,550. These rebate checks will go out monthly and represent a one time rebate payment. The good news is that seniors don't have to do anything to receive a rebate! The checks are automatically issued based on a Medicare beneficiary's billing history.
Future provisions of the healthcare reform law provide a 50% reduction in the cost of brand drugs when the doughnut is reached starting in 2011 and a 75% reduction in 2020.
This represents the healthcare reform law's first monetary benefit.