Thousands IL seniors' health care programs will end June 30th - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

End of IL seniors' health care program effects thousands

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Thousands of Illinois seniors will be getting bad news in the mail.

The Illinois Department on Aging is sending letters to about 200,000 seniors enrolled in the "Illinois Cares RX" program telling them it has been cut.

Carole Linson is one of them, "I thought surely no one will let this happen," says Carole.

In Southern Illinois, about 40,000 seniors will be affected. This means that come July 1st, their program will be canceled.

"That means that after Illinois Cares RX ends, they're going to be responsible for paying their Medicare Part D premium, or they won't have a Medicare Part D premium and they'll have to pay 100 percent of the drug cost," says Shana Holmes, who works for the Seniors Health Assistance Program.

That's a change Carole simple can not afford.

"Before I had the program, I had one that cost me more than $300. That is scary, because I wouldn't have any money for it at all," says Carole.

If this affects you, or your parent, there are options.

Seniors have until August to switch to a different assistance program. To avoid a lapse, you have to switch to a new program before the current plan ends at the end of June.

"They can get into a different plan that would help them pay a lower payment per month. Now it may not cover their drugs as well, but they will have that option," says Holmes.

Seniors can contact a Senior Health Assistance Office or their local Senior Center to get help and learn how to apply for assistance.

If you have questions, or want to know where to go, you can call the Senior Health Assistance Program office, in Mount Carmel at: 618-262-7403.

It is located at 516 North Market Street, Mt. Carmel, IL 62863

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