updated 1/22/2011 1:01:43 PM ET 2011-01-22T18:01:43

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono says more than 20,000 seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries in Hawaii have received $250 checks to help cover the gap in their prescription drug coverage.

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The Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap begins once total drug expenses reach $2,510 and ends at $5,726. Recipients must cover all of their prescription costs in between.

The $250 one-time, tax-free rebate check is supposed to help cover the "donut hole" gap.

Hirono said Friday the new health care law is expected to completely close the 'donut hole' by 2020.

The Democratic congresswoman says more than 3 million seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries across the country have so far received their "donut hole" checks.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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