Vermont to seniors: Give me your $250 Medicare Part D checks

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Many seniors across the country are gearing up to receive $250 reimbursement checks for costs associated with the Medicare Part D coverage gap. But Vermont is telling some seniors to hand that money over to the state.

Vermont has provided financial assistance for low-income seniors who reach the Part D doughnut hole and become liable for the full cost of their prescription drugs under its VPharm program. Now, with those seniors set to receive additional support from the federal government, officials in the Green Mountain State say they want some of their money back, the Politico reports. Although the money comes from the federal government, states are in charge of disbursing the funds.

Federal officials say that the seniors in question are eligible for the checks under the recently passed healthcare reform law, which contains provisions that will slowly close the Part D coverage gap over the next decade. But Vermont says it is justified in recouping funding from some seniors since it has covered the cost of those seniors' prescriptions. To claim the money, the state can ask some seniors to simply hand over the checks or change seniors' plans to include a $250 deductible. The money will go into the state's Medicaid fund.