Ill. budget cuts reduce drug benefits for seniors, people with disabilities

Jul 15, 2011

About 20 percent of seniors and people with disabilities will lose prescription drug coverage because of cuts in the Illinois state budget.

State officials are sending letters to 43,000 participants saying they won't qualify for "Illinois Cares Rx" as of Sept. 1. Those who are still enrolled will pay more out of pocket for their prescriptions.

Mike Claffey is spokesman for the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He says the program had to be trimmed because of budget cuts. But he says the program still offers "significant help" to participants.

  • A single person cannot make more than $21,780 a year to qualify. That's down from $27,610.
  • Generic drug co-pays will rise to $5, from $2.50, and brand-name drugs go to $15, from $6.30.