Understand The Issue

Patients cannot afford prescription medications

Skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs put lifesaving medications out of reach for people with chronic conditions and communicable diseases. Many medications can cost a patient between 20-50% of the drug’s total cost each month, causing people living with arthritis, cancer, epilepsy, HIV and others to pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars a month.

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People living with chronic or life-threatening diseases should not be additionally burdened with exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for medications.

When the cost of medication becomes too high for someone who needs necessary treatment, they may stop taking the medicine or skip dosages, which oftentimes causes conditions to worsen and allows the illness to spread. This results in unhealthier communities and a rise in overall medical costs.

Over the past two years in Illinois, a number of bills have been introduced in an effort to provide patients access to affordable treatment and care – most recently House Bill 2174, which would help patients, especially those with chronic illnesses, reduce the up-front burden of deductibles as well as be better able to plan and budget for their healthcare expenses. HB 2174 would require health insurers to offer co-pay only options for prescription drugs, along with the typical coinsurance plans that may work for some but are based on paying a percentage of a drug’s cost, which is often unknown.

Learn more about the bill and join us in voicing support for this bill to legislators.