One health care benefit for citizens of Box Elder County that originated in the heart of Washington, D.C., but not on the congressional floor, is the NACo Prescription Discount Card Program.
Box Elder County Commissioner Jay Hardy returned recently from the NACo (National Alliance of Counties) Conference in Washington D.C. with a reminder of this valuable, and what he called under-used, program available to all citizens of the county, especially to those without medical insurance coverage.
This program, which began five years ago by NACo at the urging of county officials across the nation to help people, who without medical insurance face daunting prescription costs, provides prescription medicine at a discount of up to 24%.
An individual, who either does not have insurance or even those insured that might be purchasing prescription drugs not covered under their insurance, can, with card in hand, receive a discount at participating pharmacies in Brigham City and Tremonton. In fact, prescriptions can be purchased at pharmacies in any of the more than 1,250 counties across the nation that are participating in the NACo program.
NACo, in partnership with CVS Caremark, a prescription drug provider, originally piloted the prescription discount program in 2004. The program was introduced to Box Elder County by the then County Commissioners who, learning of the program at an annual NACo Convention, saw the dollar savings it could afford their constituents, and brought the idea back home.
According to the NACo website, key factors of the program are:
It’s easy –There are no enrollment fees or forms to fill out. An entire family is covered with just one card. Cards are available at the County Courthouse and all participating pharmacies—just ask!
It’s free – CVS Caremark negotiates prices with local pharmacies. There is no cost to the county, county taxpayers, or consumers to participate.
Consumers always receive the lowest price –On occasion, pharmacies will price a particular medication lower than the discount rate available with the NACo card. If that occurs, consumers will receive the best price available from that pharmacy.
According to recent reports, there are currently 134 users of the program from Box Elder County, which is actually down from a high of 329 users in October of 2007. The total savings for these individuals was as high $ 22,000 that same October—down to $ 8,300 most recently. For this reason, County Commissioner Jay Hardy wants to remind the citizens of the county of this valuable tool.
“I don’t think we’re taking advantage of it like we should,” Hardy said. “It’s a great opportunity that NACo has put together to service the citizens of the county that don’t have prescription coverage.”