Action is Teal – Policy News Update!

Rebate to Medicare Beneficiaries is in the Mail
Included in the health reform bill, enacted in March, is a provision that provides Medicare beneficiaries with $250 when they reach the “donut hole.” The first checks were sent out earlier this month to approximately 80,000 beneficiaries.

Under Medicare Part D, beneficiaries pay 25% of expenses, up to $2,830. Once a beneficiary has spent that much money in the year, s/he pays 100% of costs until out of pocket expenses hit $6,440 for the year. This is called the “donut hole” or “coverage gap.” Once a beneficiary hits the donut hole, s/he will automatically receive the rebate. When a beneficiary has paid $6,440 in out of pocket expenses, the co-pay becomes 5% for the rest of the year.

Anyone receiving the low income subsidy is not eligible for this rebate.

Beneficiaries will not have to provide any personal information to the government. If you are contacted by someone purporting to represent the government who asks for personal information in order to process a rebate, they are a scammer.  If someone asks you for this information, they should be reported to 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

Johanna’s Law Introduced in the Senate
Johanna’s Law: The Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Specter (PA) and joined by Senator Menendez (NJ) and Senator Stabenow (MI); the bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in June, 2009.  The bill re-authorizes the program, which calls for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to do a national awareness and education campaign on gynecologic cancers.  The campaign will target both the general public and providers.

For more on Johanna’s Law, visit www.ovariancancer.org/johannas-law.

Click here to use our Action Alert and ask your Senators to cosponsor Johanna’s Law.

Karen Mason Testifies on Capitol Hill
Karen Mason testified before the Senate on June 23rd in support of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance’s funding request of $30 million for the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program (DoD OCRP). This is the second time that Karen has testified on the Hill:  last month, she testified before the House Subcommittee on Appropriations in support of the same request.

For more information on the DoD OCRP, click here.

Watch Karen’s Testimony

Preparations Well Underway for Advocacy Day
As Advocacy Day fast approaches, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is busy scheduling appointments for constituents to meet with their Elected Officials or their staff, as well as preparing all the necessary information the constituents will need for those meetings. We have meetings scheduled with more than 130 different offices, whose staff are all very eager to talk about ovarian cancer with constituents who have had firsthand experience with the disease. All of us at the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance are extremely excited for Advocacy Day and the 13th Annual Conference this year, as it promises to be a very special weekend.

For more information on Advocacy Day, visit www.ovariancancer.org/conference/2010.

Virtual Advocacy Day on July 13th
Even if you are not able to come to Washington, D.C. to participate in Advocacy Day, you can still share  your story and influence legislators to support the ovarian cancer community’s agenda.   The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance will have its annual Virtual Advocacy Day on July 13th, where you can email and call your Elected Officials and request their support of our legislative and appropriation requests.  Instructions will be sent out closer to July 13th.

Patient’s Bill of Rights Issued
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a Patient’s Bill of Rights in June.

The rules:
- prohibit pre-existing condition discrimination by health insurers
- begin to implement the ban on lifetime caps
- provide guidance that increases annual caps
- prohibits rescission unless there is fraud
- begin to implement expanded access to care and patient choice

View the Interim Final Rules.

View the Department’s Fact Sheet on the Bill of Rights.