The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on May 27 issued guidance on the $250 benefit in the health care reform law for Medicare beneficiaries who enter the "donut hole," or gap in coverage, for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. What follows is the guidance:

"Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted at www.medicare.gov (under "What's New") "Closing the Prescription Drug Coverage Gap" brochure that describes details about the tax-free, one-time check for $250 for people who enter the Part D donut hole and are not eligible for Medicare Extra Help.  The first checks are being mailed June 10 and checks will be mailed monthly after people have entered the coverage gap.

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