County drug card could save you money

By Carol Higgins Taylor for the WEEKLY, Special to the BDN
Posted April 22, 2009, at 6:40 p.m.

It has been said that you should watch out for things that seem too good to be true. There are exceptions to this sage advice, however, as is evidenced by the Penobscot County Drug Card.

“The Penobscot County commissioners teamed up with the National Association of Counties to take advantage of educational and financial benefits that would be helpful to our residents,” said Barbara Veilleux, Penobscot county employee and a member of the Health Advisory Council. The council reviews all types of health-related issues for the county.

“Since starting the program in July 2006, the Penobscot County free prescription drug discount program has saved consumers more than $100,000,” she said. “And that’s with only a monthly average of 205 individuals using the card. Just imagine how much could be saved if more people were taking advantage of this program.”

Best of all, the prescription drug discount card can be used by anyone; however, it is geared to the uninsured or underinsured. People with good insurance have saved money with it as well, and there is no cost to county taxpayers, added Veilleux. It also could be helpful to seniors who are not yet eligible for Medicare benefits.

So just how does this card work — and how do you get one of your own?

“Getting a card is very easy,” said Veilleux. “Just go to your town or city hall and pick one up along with the list of participating pharmacies. Elderly and disabled homebound individuals can call me at 942-8566 and I will mail one to them. The only requirement to get and use the card is that you live and-or work in Penobscot County.”

Let’s break it down, because this is the chance of a lifetime:

ä The card is free for the asking.

ä There is no fee and no premium, as it is not an insurance card.

ä The savings average about 18.5 percent on covered prescriptions. Some may be more, some may be less.

ä There are no limits on the number of times the card can be used, and only one card is needed per family.

ä To start using the card, just present it to your pharmacy when purchasing medications.

ä The card covers medications for pets if the prescriptions can be filled in a pharmacy, not at the veterinarian’s office.

“There is no reason people in Penobscot should not get this card,” said Veilleux. “And even people with insurance can use it. It does not provide a discount on co-pays for people with a prescription plan, but if a drug is not covered on a person’s plan, this card might work. More money can be saved for those who use maintenance drugs and shop mail order or online at naco.advancerx.com.”

The cards may be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage, and are accepted at most of the county’s pharmacies. A national network of more than 57,000 participating retail pharmacies also honors the Penobscot County Prescription Drug Discount Cards.

There is no downside to the Penobscot County Prescription Drug Card, so hop on the phone or head to your town office and start saving money today.

To obtain more information or to receive a card of your own, call NACO toll-free at 877-321-2652. If you prefer, call Eastern Area Agency on Aging at 941-2865 and we will pass your name and address on to Barbara Veilleux, who will see to it that you get a card.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. E-mail Higgins Taylor at chtaylor@eaaa.org. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, e-mail info@eaaa.org or log on EAAA.org. TTY 992-0150.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/04/22/news/bangor/county-drug-card-could-save-you-money/ printed on November 1, 2014