Decatur - Low income senior citizens will soon feel the impact of the states overhaul of the Medicaid system. Illinois Cares Rx, which provides money for critical prescription drugs, is being eliminated on July 1st.
Phones are "ringing off the hook" at the Decatur - Macon County Senior Center with calls from low income elderly worried about their coverage. "People are very confused," said Leslie Stanberry, the Senior Center Executive Director. "It's been a very confusing situation and a lot of people are wanting to know what to do next."
The Senior Center is offering to help the elderly determine their next step. People have been confused by letters they received last week from the state announcing the end of Illinois Rx. Some have also received automated robo calls. "One lady thought she was being scammed. So, there's a lot of confusion. But thankfully, people are calling us," Stanberry told WAND News.
The legislature passed nearly $3 billion in Medicaid cuts in the closing days of the Spring legislative session in May. Governor Quinn signed the bill making the cuts and raising the cigarette tax $1 a pack to save the crumbling Medicaid system. The higher cigarette tax took effect on Sunday.
Macon County seniors can obtain assistance from the Senior Center by calling 429-1239. They can also get help locally from CHELP, 422-9888 and the Starting Point Senior Services program at the Macon County Health Department, at 423-6550.
Seniors can also get help Wednesday in Urbana from 1pm - 5pm at Lincoln Square Mall. Several local agencies will be on hand to help. Seniors need to bring a list of medications, Medicare/Insurance cards, proof of income and assets to the Urbana location.
For the Senior Center in Decatur the elderly will only need to bring a list of their current medications. The center is located at 1430 N. 22nd Street in Decatur.