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Policy & Politics

Illinois: New Law Moves HIV/AIDS Drug Costs to Medicare Not Vice Versa

March 30, 2006

On March 27, the Illinois Senate unanimously approved a bill that would cover drug costs for some clients of the state AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) through Medicare.

HIV/AIDS patients who were ADAP/Medicare eligible, but could not afford out-of-pocket prescription costs, have been covered through ADAP. The new measure, which passed the House Feb. 1, moves prescription coverage from ADAP to Medicare, with out-of-pocket Medicare expenses to be covered by the Illinois Cares Rx program. The state anticipates a 63 percent savings per client by the move.

"What this allows us to do is maximize Medicare drug spending and open up about 200 slots in ADAP," said John Peller of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), which supports the measure. Peller praised the assembly's Sen. Carol Ronen (D-Chicago) and Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) for sponsoring the bill.

By coordinating ADAP and Medicare prescription spending, Illinois is breaking new ground, and officials from other states are inquiring about the bill, said Peller. AFC estimates the legislation would save Illinois about $2.3 million in overall ADAP funds.

The bill has moved to the governor, who is expected to sign it into law.

Back to other news for March 30, 2006

Adapted from:
Chicago Free Press
03.29.2006; Gary Barlow

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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