BREWER, Maine — Anyone without health insurance can head to town and pick up a free discount prescription card that will save users 20 percent on average, City Councilor Manley DeBeck, who is a staunch advocate for those without health insurance coverage, said this week.
“It doesn’t cost a penny and all the pharmacies in Brewer are participating,” he said.
DeBeck said he went seven months without health insurance after Eastern Fine Paper closed in 2004 and he and about 240 others were laid off.
“I have five medications that I had to have,” he said. “It was quite a burden for me to purchase my five medications.”
The prescription discount card, offered in partnership with the National League of Cities, also can be used by those who have insurance when that insurance doesn’t cover a specific medication, said Assistant City Manager James Smith.
“We’ve placed the cards out at the auditorium, City Hall, the public safety building, library and in area pharmacies,” he said.
The National League of Cities and CVS Caremark began to offer the free prescription discount card program in October 2009, and cards can be used at pharmacies nationwide. Brewer is the fourth community in Maine to provide the service.
The program “is really simple,” DeBeck said. “They tear off the card and put it in their pocket, and if your insurance doesn’t cover it, they can pull out the card. The average savings is 20 percent.”
There is no enrollment form, no membership fee, no restrictions based on age or income level, and the card may be used by residents and their families anytime their prescriptions are not covered by insurance, the NLC website states.