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CORRECTION - Governor Rendell Highlights Success of Health Care Reform Act as Seniors Get Rebate Checks to Help Pay for Prescription Drugs
Date:9/22/2010

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today highlighted the early success of the federal Affordable Care Act – better known as health care reform – as tens of thousands of Medicare enrollees in Pennsylvania are receiving federal rebate checks for $250.

The rebates help people who have reached the so-called "donut hole" coverage gap in their Medicare Part D prescription benefits.

"Many older adults living on fixed incomes have trouble paying out-of-pocket for needed medications, leaving some to face the terrible choice of whether to buy groceries or life-sustaining prescriptions," Governor Rendell said. "The federal rebate checks offer seniors peace of mind, helping them to buy medications that can maintain their health. This is a tremendous benefit for seniors, which they gained from Congress passing the Affordable Care Act."

Signed by President Obama last March, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reduces out-of-pocket liability when Medicare Part D enrollees reach the coverage gap. Nearly 200,000 seniors in Pennsylvania will reach the coverage gap this year, the point at which they have reached the maximum $2,830 initial Part D coverage for prescription drugs. After that, they are responsible for paying 100-percent of the next $3,610 in drug costs.

Studies show that one in five people in this situation will stop taking their medicine because they cannot pay for it. This can lead to serious negative health conditions such as physical deterioration that can require hospitalization and emergency room and physician visits. The $250 covers the cost of many of these prescriptions and allows seniors to keep taking their required medicine.

In 2011, even more assistance will be provided to Part D enrollees who reach the donut hole. They will receive a 50-percent discount on the total cost of their brand-name drugs through agreement with the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Me
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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