WYOMING NEWS SERVICE, Cheyenne, WY – It's “Round 2” for Medicare doughnut hole checks – the $250 rebates to help those who have fallen into the Part D prescription coverage gap. It's a lapse in drug insurance that affects more than 7,000 Wyomingites in the program each year.
Jim Nicodemus says he and his wife in Cheyenne have reached the coverage limit the past two years because of expensive heart and diabetes medications.
Lantus is a long-lasting insulin that costs around $140 per bottle. Nicodumus says he's looking forward to the check, but points out that he'll still be without coverage through the end of the year. And even if coverage kicks back in after an out-of-pocket limit, the benefit will be limited to 50% of medication costs.
The rebate checks are part of the federal health care reform law, which also gradually phases out the doughnut hole. And as more checks go out, the number of scammers looking to get their hands on that cash has also risen, according to AARP Wyoming State Director Tim Summers. He points out that the checks require no paperwork or phone calls.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report that tricksters have been calling Medicare clients, claiming to be from the National Medical Office, in order to obtain sensitive financial information. Other fake names being used in scams: Pharma Corp., National Medicare, and Medicare National Office.