WASHINGTON, D.C,–(ENEWSPF)–January 18, 2011. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released county by county numbers showing that the newly implemented Medicare “donut hole” fix will put over $1.2 billion back in the hands of Illinois seniors over the next ten years. Across the country, seniors who have high prescription drug spending will save as much as $12,300 over the next ten years and seniors with low drug costs will save an average of $2,400 over ten years. This week, a vote expected in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal provisions in the health care reform law puts that funding for 133,854 Illinois Medicare beneficiaries in jeopardy.
“The health reform law is already making a difference in the lives of millions in our state,” said Durbin. “As of January 1, Medicare beneficiaries trapped in the “donut hole” began receiving a 50 percent discount on all brand name drugs. This discount will gradually increase until 2020 when the donut hole is filled completely. Without this provision of the health reform law, the burden of high prescription drug costs would hurt thousands Medicare beneficiaries across Illinois. No one should have to choose between their health and paying for food, bills, and other basic necessities, especially our seniors.”
In the Medicare Part D program that was established in 2003, once an initial coverage limit is reached, beneficiaries have to absorb 100 percent of their drug costs until catastrophic coverage kicks in. That means that approximately 3.4 million seniors nationwide with the heaviest reliance on prescription drugs faced the prospect of paying up to $4,000 out of pocket before they qualified for further assistance from Medicare.
In a January 3 letter, Durbin and members of the Senate Democratic Leadership urged Speaker of the House John Boehner to protect seniors by not repealing a new fix to Medicare’s “donut hole” and warned they would block any health care repeal effort that does so. They wrote: “We urge you to consider the unintended consequences that the law’s repeal would have on a number of popular consumer protections that help middle class Americans. The ‘donut hole’ fix is just one measure that would be threatened by a repeal effort. Taking this benefit away from seniors would be irresponsible and reckless at a time when it is becoming harder and harder for seniors to afford a healthy retirement.”
[County by county statistics below representing savings over ten years]
Cook County: 51,799 seniors and $466,555,475 in savings; DuPage County: 8,272 seniors and $74,509,669 in savings; Kane County: 3,582 seniors and $32,264,128 in savings; Kendall County: 616 seniors and $5,548,312 in savings; Lake County: 5,653 seniors and $50,918,940 in savings; McHenry County: 2,515 seniors and $22,655,145 in savings; and Will County: 5,004 seniors and $45,066,858 in savings.
Boone County: 502 seniors and $4,524,648 in savings; Bureau County: 519 seniors and $4,670,292 in savings; Carroll County: 282 seniors and $2,542,514 in savings; DeKalb County: 842 seniors and $7,588,010 in savings; Grundy County: 460 seniors and $4,145,283 in savings; Henry County: 712 seniors and $6,415,236 in savings; Jo Daviess County: 380 seniors and $3,424,002 in savings; Kankakee County: 1,357 seniors and $12,225,012 in savings; LaSalle County: 1,599 seniors and $14,404,111 in savings; Lee County: 501 seniors and $4,514,245 in savings; Mercer County: 256 seniors and $2,306,711 in savings; Ogle County: 655 seniors and $5,902,017 in savings; Putnam County: 88 seniors and $792,022 in savings; Rock Island County: 2,018 seniors and $18,174,189 in savings; Stephenson County: 739 seniors and $6,655,200 in savings; Whiteside County: 901 seniors and $8,113,019; and Winnebago County: 3,495 seniors and $31,479,735 in savings.
Adams County: 997 seniors and $8,981,330 in savings; Bond County: 231 seniors and $2,079,230 in savings; Brown County: 73 seniors and $654,007 in savings; Calhoun County: 87 seniors and $781,618 in savings: Cass County: 187 seniors and $1,685,993 in savings; Champaign County: 1,626 seniors and $14,642,689 in savings; Christian County: 538 seniors and $4,848,531 in savings; Clark County: 254 seniors and $2,289,372 in savings; Coles County: 620 seniors and $5,586,457 in savings; Crawford County: 299 seniors and $2,690,238 in savings; Cumberland County: 145 seniors and $1,308,015 in savings; De Witt County: 232 seniors and $2,091,714 in savings; Douglas County: 273 seniors and $2,458,596 in savings; Edgar County: 291 seniors and $2,620,884 in savings; Effingham County: 446 seniors and $4,016,284 in savings; Fayette County: 312 seniors and $2,812,994 in savings; Ford County: 210 seniors and $1,890,587 in savings; Fulton County: 575 seniors and $5,180,043 in savings; Greene County: 221 seniors and $1,993,925 in savings; Hancock County: 310 seniors and $2,794,962 in savings; Henderson County: 118 seniors and $1,065,969 in savings; Iroquois County: 489 seniors and $4,405,360 in savings; Jasper County: 151 seniors and $1,356,562 in savings; Knox County: 835 seniors and $7,522,818 in savings; Livingston County: 520 seniors and $4,680,695 in savings; Logan County: 388 seniors and $3,498,904 in savings; Macon County: 1,596 seniors and $14,373,596 in savings; Macoupin County: 716 seniors and $6,445,751 in savings; Marshall County: 201 seniors and $1,806,669 in savings; Mason County: 259 seniors and $2,335,146 in savings; McDonough County: 405 seniors and $3,648,709 in savings; McLean County: 1,430 seniors and $12,881,100 in savings; Menard County: 159 seniors and $1,435,626 in savings; Montgomery County: 460 seniors and $4,147,363 in savings; Morgan County: 524 seniors and $4,715,372 in savings; Moultrie County: 211 seniors and $1,902,377 in savings; Peoria County: 2,282 seniors and $20,557,189 in savings; Piatt County: 222 seniors and $2,000,166 in savings; Pike County: 271 seniors and $2,444,725 in savings; Sangamon County: 2,378 seniors and $21,422,726 in savings; Schuyler County: 111 seniors and $1,000,777 in savings; Scott County: 74 seniors and $667,878 in savings; Shelby County: 333 seniors and $2,998,863 in savings; Stark County: 93 seniors and $839,876 in savings; Tazewell County: 1,759 seniors and $15,842,511 in savings; Vermillion County: 1,223 seniors and $11,014,786 in savings; Warren County: 232 seniors and $2,093,794 in savings; and Woodford County: 427 seniors and $3,845,674 in savings.
Clinton County: 473 seniors and $4,257,636 in savings; Jersey County: 300 seniors and $2,704,109 in savings; Madison County: 3,411 seniors and $30,722,391 in savings; Monroe County: 363 seniors and $3,270,036 in savings; and St. Clair County: 3,007 seniors and $27,084,779 in savings.
Alexander County: 139 seniors and $1,251,144 in savings; Clay County: 231 seniors and $2,084,085 in savings; Edwards County: 107 seniors and $964,713 in savings; Franklin County: 670 seniors and $6,033,096 in savings; Gallatin County: 107 seniors and $961,939 in savings; Hamilton County: 143 seniors and $1,285,821 in savings; Hardin County: 82 seniors and $736,538 in savings; Jackson County: 591 seniors and $5,320,831 in savings; Jefferson County: 541 seniors and $4,869,337 in savings; Johnson County: 181 seniors and $1,627,736 in savings; Lawrence County: 243 seniors and $2,188,116 in savings; Marion County: 633 seniors and $5,705,745 in savings; Massac County: 250 seniors and $2,249,841 in savings; Perry County: 312 seniors and $2,811,607 in savings; Pope County: 74 seniors and $667,878 in savings; Pulaski County: 108 seniors and $974,422 in savings; Randolph County: 452 seniors and $4,066,913 in savings; Richland County: 266 seniors and $2,393,403 in savings; Saline County: 435 seniors and $3,921,270 in savings; Union County: 294 seniors and $2,648,625 in savings; Wabash County: 185 seniors and $1,667,268 in savings; Washington County: 213 seniors and $1,918,329 in savings; Wayne County: 274 seniors and $2,471,079 in savings; White County: 268 seniors and $2,416,983 in savings; and Williamson County: 945 seniors and $8,508,336 in savings.