County discount prescription card numbers see solid, rapid growth

Friday, November 14, 2008

After three months of availability, some Bourbon County residents are beginning to see the value of the new NACo prescription drug discount card program.

The discount drug program, which is being offered to county residents free of charge, is sponsored by the National Association of Counties.

According to Bourbon County Commissioner Bill Brittain, the cards are not insurance cards, but are cards that provide immediate discounts for county residents at participating pharmacies.

The discount cards were first made available to residents in August. During the first month, a total of 14 Bourbon County residents used the service, resulting in an average savings per prescription of $8.31 and a total savings of $208.

Since August, participation numbers have risen to 75 members. The increase of members has brought an average savings of $1,400 to area residents which results in nearly $8 of savings per prescription. This totals an 18.11 percent average savings overall for the month of October.

The discount drug cards may be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage. However, the prescription discount cards can only be used at participating pharmacies. Wal-Mart Pharmacy, Woods Pharmacy, Mercy Pharmacy and Walgreens Pharmacy are currently participating in the discount program, Brittain said.

More than 57,000 pharmacies nationwide are currently participating in the discount card program, according to NACo.

Brittain said Bourbon County signed up for the program in order to provide much needed help to area residents who are not adequately insured.

"There is no downside to it," he said. "It doesn't cost the county or the citizens. It just ensures the lowest price for people who don't have insurance or don't have good insurance. It will really be a benefit."

According to the NACo Web site, www.naco.org, there are many benefits to the prescription drug card program. County residents who wish to participate in the program do not need to pay any enrollment fees or fill out any forms. There are no age or income restrictions and no medical condition restrictions. Families need only one card to cover every member of the family including family pets.

According to naco.org, out of the 3,068 counties in the nation, more than 1,060 are currently participating in the drug card program. In addition, more counties join the program each month. More than 59,000 retail pharmacies honor the cards.

Brittain said residents who wish to participate in the program can pick up a card in most of the county court house offices; city hall; any of the participating pharmacies; Buck Runn Community Center; Union Station, Uniontown; the Mapleton Mini Mart; or at various other locations.

To obtain more information about participating pharmacies, prescription price estimates, drug interactions, or to access health-related articles, residents can visit www.caremark.com/naco or call (877) 321-2652.