CMS has mailed the second round of $250 one-time checks to seniors who?ve fallen into the Part D donut hole. 80,000 checks are going out this week and ultimately CMS expects about 4 million seniors will qualify for rebates. These checks are the first step in efforts to eventually close the donut hole through the new health care reform legislation.

?The Affordable Care Act starts to close the donut hole this year, giving much-needed relief to millions of seniors. In 2011, the Affordable Care Act takes an additional step for Medicare beneficiaries in the donut hole by providing them with a 50 percent discount on their brand name medications. Every year from 2012 until 2020, the Affordable Care Act will take progressive steps to close the donut hole.? HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Unfortunately, whenever there?s something new in the Medicare program scammers come out of the woodwork. CMS offers this advice:

?Seniors also need to know that they will just receive their check at their usual address – they don’t have to take any extra steps,? said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center for Medicare, Jonathan Blum. ?And they should never give out their personal information. If someone asks for your personal Medicare information over the phone who isn’t a trusted resource like Medicare, please don’t provide it. Seniors or family members should contact us at 1-800-MEDICARE to report any of these types of calls or go to to learn more about efforts to fight fraud and scams against seniors.?