IL Elderly Struggle with Prescription Drug Costs
CHICAGO, IL - Seventy-eight-year-old Joanne Capretti is in a fix. She needs an inhaler to breathe well enough to continue working part-time as a restaurant hostess, which supplements her paltry Social Security retirement benefits.
But she's worried she can't afford medication anymore. Her out-of-pocket cost has more than doubled since July 1. That's when Illinois ended a program that helped thousands of seniors buy prescription drugs.
The Illinois Cares Rx program ended weeks after Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation axing it in an effort to save $72 million and help fill a $2.7 billion hole in the Illinois Medicaid budget. That gave seniors and the disabled little time to plan.
About 168,000 seniors and disabled people were enrolled in the program.