By Jeffrey Amos
Scamraiders Contributor

This year marks the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act by the 111th Congress. Even a cursory glance at the news in the past year would illustrate the convoluted political machinations surrounding the bill. Healthcare has always been a complicated subject to wrestle to the ground, but even more so this year when differing proposals and language fired back and forth across Capitol Hill. So it's no wonder that with the passage of the bill, we are also seeing a rise in associated cons.

The Affordable Heath Care Act provides a provision for a one time $250 rebate for seniors receiving prescription drug coverage but not enrolled in Medicare Extra Help. This rebate is designed to help mitigate some of the deleterious financial effects of what is known as the donut hole. Beyond being a bite-sized morsel of doughy goodness, the donut hole is also the coloquial name for the financial gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage. Medicare, under this plan, provides support, whether in full or with co-pay, for prescription drug costs up to a certain dollar amount at which point the full responsibility for coverage reverts to the patient. Payment kicks in again after another financial milestone is reached. This gap in coverage is the donut hole.

Medicare tracks prescription drug payments and will automatically send out these rebates to qualifying seniors. Nothing has to be done, nothing has to be registered for or sent in at all. The first of these rebate checks are being sent out this month.

Of course, with the promise of money and confusion surrounding the legislation, scammers are pouring out trying to capitalize on the general misunderstanding of the system. Calls are being made to seniors on Medicare. Scammers purport that they are from Medicare and are calling in order to expedite payment or even to acquire information for the purposes of processing the claim. These ersatz bureaucrats ask for personal information - social security numbers, bank account numbers, birth dates - all sorts of information which they will then use to steal identities and clear out bank accounts.

It's important to remember that the recipient of this one time rebate needs to do nothing to acquire the check. If anyone contacts you to determine if you are eligible for the Medicare Part D Rebate, it's a scam. When confronted with a presumed government employing acquiring after this information, be sure to ask for identification, credentials, phone numbers, and even the name of the institution they are reporting from even if they seem beyond suspicion. Use this information to check with Medicare.

This health care bill is of course a complicated subject, but the Medicare Part D refund is not. If you qualify for the rebate, you needn't lift a finger to receive the check. If you have any questions, you should contact Medicare.

More information about the refund itself can be found here:

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