I am afraid this is the first of many bad news memos as the safety net is being dismantled in Illinois.
Subject:Illinois Cares Rx Will Be Eliminated………….Spenddown in July and back to ADAP asap!
Sadly, the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly last night for a bill that, among other things, eliminated the Illlinois Cares Rx Program. The Governor is expected to sign it. This is a very sad time, we know. But, unfortunately, we don’t have much time to be sad. We will need to work, as we always do, to protect our clients and consumers and their health.
With this, I want to remind everybody that Medicaid spenddown will be an option for many of our Illinois Cares Rx enrollees. If an enrollee meets spenddown in July, they will get “extra help” for the rest of this year and all of 2013. Every Medicare beneficiary who relied on Illinois Cares Rx pays $99.90 each month in Medicare premiums. Spenddown can go back 6 months. This means, if their assets are low enough, all of them have at least $599 in expenses toward spenddown right off the bat.
For those living with HIV, returning to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program to get the same assistance that they received from Illinois Cares Rx is an option.
Our advocacy and service provider community has taken hits before and we always are resourceful and figure out solutions to get our clients what they need. I have put out the above to show you that we can find options and counter this blow to the safety net, as we always do. Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to organize our efforts and shift many of the former Illinois Cares Rx enrollees to full “extra help” and all those living with HIV to ADAP, thereby assuring a large percentage of those impacted by these cuts are still able to access affordable medications? Please stay tuned for our first in a series of MMW webinars and meetings on how we manage in a post Illinois Cares Rx world.
Thanks again for all of your efforts.
–– John V. Coburn Senior Policy Attorney Health & Disability Advocates
205 W Monroe St Ste 200 Chicago IL 60606 Phone: 312-218-0941 | Fax: 312-574-1953 | TTY: 866-584-8750 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.hdadvocates.org Follow us on twitter @hdadvocates | Like us on Facebook: on.fb.me/hdadv
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423