Medicare offers $250 checks and scammers take note

Medicare offers $250 checks, possibility of scams
Medicare offers $250 checks, possibility of scams

The check is in the mail this week for 80,000 Medicare recipients in the start of a new program expected to pay 4 million Medicare recipients this year $250 each. Now the real battle will be to make sure that money isn't scammed away.

The checks start going out on Thursday to Medicare recipients whose drug costs for the year have exceeded $2,830.

Medicare's Part D prescription drug coverage after a $310 deductible pays 75% of prescriptions costs below $2,830 and 100% of prescription costs above $6,440. In between, in the so-called "doughnut hole," it pays nothing.

That was fixed in the Health Reform legislation that passed Congress in March. Starting next year, recipients get a 50% discount on drugs when their annual drug costs reach $2,830, and starting in 2020, Medicare pays the whole cost.
The $250 payments are Congress' attempt to provide some immediate help this year -- help that arrives before the November election.