Illinois governor cuts funeral funds for poor

ANNA, IL (KFVS) - It's not something you want to think about after you've lost a loved one, paying for their funeral and burial when you're poor.

But, the average cost for funeral and burial arrangements according to Bryan Crain, at Crain Funeral Home in Anna, Illinois is between $8,000 to $10,000.

Crain says the State of Illinois funded program cut by Governor Pat Quinn, never reimbursed funeral homes for all their costs.

"The state has been reimbursing funeral homes up to $1,655 for funeral and burial expenses," said Bryan Crain.

"That's to cover the cemetery portion, the grave opening, the embalming and the casket. And there's been quite a few funeral homes over the past five years that have stopped servicing Medicaid and public aid funerals and burials."

But, now the $15 million program to help people who are poor bury their loved ones is gone.

"I think it's a tragic thing," said John Winstead of Herrin, Illinois.

"Because sometimes people aren't as successful as other people. And for people to have to deal with that situation like that, what are they going to do?"

Crain says no matter if people can pay for their services or not, he's not going to turn anyone away when it comes time to bury their loved ones.

"We're going to take care of them," Crain said.  "And a lot of times we take care of the arrangements and we worry about how we're going to get paid later. now it looks like we can't count on the State of Illinois much longer."

"Plus, right now they're a year behind on reimbursing us for funerals we've already provided to people who are on public aid."

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