Local pharmacy struggles with new state program

A new Illinois state program is causing financial struggles for local pharmacies.

Posted: May 29, 2018 6:28 PM

OBLONG, Ill. (WTHI) - Harmon's Drug Store in Oblong, Illinois has been open since the 1940's. But a new state policy is causing some issues for this small town business. The program is called HealthChoice Illinois.


HealthChoice Illinois offers Medicaid users five health plan options.

News 10 spoke with Brad Harmon with Harmon's Drug Store. He says when Medicaid users get a prescription filled, the pharmacy receives a reimbursement from the state. The reimbursement covers the cost of the drug, as well as the costs to fill the prescription.

Since the program has been in place, Harmon tells News 10 reimbursements from the state have declined drastically.

Harmon believes the fix is house bill 3479, which is currently in the Illinois Senate. The bill would work to provide a fair reimbursement rate to pharmacies.

Harmon says, "In Medicaid, that was one of the best paying plans in the state. We would get approximately six dollars per prescription to fill. After the first month, we're seeing approximately 85 cents on a prescription. So we've seen a pretty significant change."

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