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Illinois Cares Rx, the Day After

You may have already heard that Illinois Cares Rx, the program that helps pay prescription drug costs for elderly and disabled people in Illinois, has become a victim of the state’s budget crisis.  The program will be eliminated as of July 1, 2012. So if you’re one of the 150,000 Illinoisans who has been covered by the program, what are you supposed to do?  Well, the good folks over at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law have put together a top-notch article laying out all the available options.  You can read it here. And if you still have questions about your particular situation, feel free to give us a call at...

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ADAP to the Rescue!

If you have private health insurance or Medicare, there are important changes in the Illinois AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) that may help you with some of your drug costs. Additionally, ADAP may make it possible for some people to afford comprehensive health insurance coverage under the new Illinois Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (IPXP). First and foremost: The income eligibility limit for Illinois ADAP is 500% of federal poverty. That means for 2011, your annual income must be less $54, 450 in order for you to enroll in any of ADAP’s programs. So let’s dig in and explain. For folks with private insurance: ADAP used to pay drug copays for people with private health insurance, but only if the copays were more than 20% of the drug costs or if a drug’s individual copay was more than $100. But...

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Bad ADAP News

Throughout its long history, the Illinois AIDS Drug Assistance Program has gone through many changes — funding ups and downs, formulary caps, eligibility expansions. But the program has never had a waiting list. That may be about to change. Last week the Medical Issues Advisory Board, comprised of medical professionals, legal experts and people with HIV, voted unanimously to urge the immediate closure of the program to new applicants and institute a waiting list. The problem? Illinois’s massive budget deficit. David Ernesto Munar, vice president of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, lamented that unless a waiting list is established, the entire program is in jeopardy. “Because the program is deeply underfunded, Illinois must take immediate steps to preserve services for those who rely on ADAP for their life-saving care,” he said. The Board’s recommendation is now under review by...

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Getting Your HIV Meds: A Primer

Good morning, class….class!…Class! Sit turn, turn off your Gameboys and pay attention for five minutes! It’s time for a quick lesson we like to call, “How to Get Your HIV Medications. Since there are myriad government programs designed to help people of modest incomes get their medications (Medicaid, Medicare, Illinois Cares Rx, ADAP, Extra Help) we won’t make fun of you if you’re a little confused. So let’s outline the basics. Medicaid, also called a “medical card,” is health insurance for people who are disabled and have very low incomes — less than $927 a month. Most everyone who receives SSI can get Medicaid. People who receive SSDI checks less than $927 can also get Medicaid (if your SSDI is more than $927, you will have a Medicaid ‘spend-down,’ which is a monthly deductible). Medicaid will pay for your...

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