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Illinois Cares Rx Changes begin September 2011

Champaign County Health Care Consumers’ Medicare Task Force helda press conference on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 to discuss the issue of changes to Illinois Cares Rx Program.

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Beginning September 1, anyone currently enrolled in Illinois Cares Rx with an annual income of over 200% of the Federal Poverty Level will lose their benefits. This change in the program’s eligibility guidelines will cut over 40,000 participants from the program.  For those still eligible, their co-payments will increase by more than double for many prescription drugs.

For most seniors, paying for multiple prescription drugs is already a significant expense, and will only become more difficult to afford after September 1.  Members of the Task Force will offer specific strategies that Illinois Cares Rx beneficiaries can use now before the changes go into affect in 2 weeks.  The message to those either losing their benefits completely or facing increased co-pays is “Take action now!”  Seniors already on a fixed income need to come up with a plan to deal with the increased out-of-pocket expenses for their prescription drugs, and the Task Force has several helpful suggestions and materials to prepare for those changes today.  

Since 2005, Illinois Cares Rx has helped thousands of low-income seniors and people with disabilities pay their Medicare Part D premiums and co-payments and provided discounted prescription drug coverage.  The program’s funding was cut in half by the most recent state budget.

Follow the links below for some helpful information on dealing with these changes: 

See the news coverage from the press conference here: 

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