WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It is not every day someone hands you $50 while purchasing your prescription medication. Or is it?
FloridaToday.com recently reported how Tammy Harris, a resident and employee of Brevard County, Fla., overheard the conversation of a woman who couldn't afford to pay the $72.50 for a prescription not covered by her insurance. "The woman dumped her purse on the counter, looking for money, before Harris stepped up and offered her a Brevard County Card, a free prescription discount card available to the county's uninsured and underinsured residents," the publication reported in September. "It saved the woman $50 on her total bill."
"She cried," said Harris, community resources and development supervisor for Brevard Housing and Human Services. "She hugged me and said she knew there was good karma around her," according to FloridaToday.com.
The scene was made possible thanks to the National Association of Counties' (NACo) Prescription Discount Card Program. Brevard County is one of more than 1,400 of the nation's 3,068 counties participating in the program which recently surpassed $500 million in savings for American consumers since the program's inception nearly eight years ago.
The average savings per transaction is 24 percent, according to NACo. Most important, however, is the actual dollar savings at the point of sale and how those savings can add up month after month for many American families. Depending on the prescription, savings per purchase range from less than $10 to as much as $20, $30, $40, and even more than $50.
"This program puts cash right back into consumers' pockets thanks to their local county government and the National Association of Counties," said NACo President Chris Rodgers, Commissioner, Douglas County, Neb. "Saving American consumers more than $500 million on their prescription costs is an enormous milestone for our program and NACo is extremely proud."
The savings are staggering in many counties: $25.1 million saved in Montgomery County, Md.; $16.6 million saved Indianapolis/Marion County, Ind.; $10.3 million saved in Snohomish County, Wash.; $7.5 million saved in Wake County, N.C.; $6.8 million saved in Maricopa County, Ariz.; $6.4 million saved in Palm Beach County, Fla.; $6.3 million in Oakland County, Mich.; $2.9 million saved in Fulton County, Ga., and $2 million in Cook County, Ill.
Rural counties with populations less than 50,000 are saving big as well: $561,000 saved in Culpeper County, Va.; $349,000 saved in Buffalo County, Neb., $189,000 saved in Baxter County, Ark.; $183,000 saved in Brookings County, S.D., and $125,000 saved in Humboldt County, Iowa.
Savings are not exclusive to the continental 48 states: More than $638,000 in cold, hard cash has been saved in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, while residents in Honolulu City/County, Hawaii are saying "aloha" to more than $3.9 million in savings.
The free discount card has many benefits: It is easy to get one. There are no forms to fill out. The card can be used by those who do not have insurance or by those who have prescriptions not covered by insurance. The card may be used by any resident, regardless of age, income or existing health condition. Everyone is eligible and one card is good for the entire family.
Further, all commonly prescribed prescription medications, including many pet medications, are eligible for a discount. The card is accepted within a national network of 65,000 pharmacies including all the major chains such as Wal-Mart, CVS/Pharmacy, Walgreens, Giant, Safeway, and Rite Aid. The participating pharmacies also include the majority of community-based, independent pharmacies.
Residents can find out if their county participates in the program by visiting www.nacorx.org. A discount card can be printed directly from the same website. Information is posted on the website to learn where residents can locate the nearest participating pharmacy. Assistance with discount card program is also available by calling toll-free 1-877-321-2652.
"Just as Ms. Harris was in the right place at the right time to assist her fellow county resident, participating NACo-member counties are positioned to offer the free discount cards and significant savings to families during these challenging economic times," Rodgers said. "It's truly as if someone hands you cash each time you're standing at the pharmacy checkout register."
The NACo Prescription Drug Discount Card Program was created in late 2004 as a 17-county pilot program in partnership with CVS Caremark to provide a valuable membership benefit to counties. The NACo Board of Directors made the program available to members nationwide in May 2005.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation's 3,068 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public's understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. For more information about NACo, visit www.naco.org.
CONTACT: Jim Philipps National Association of Counties 202.942.4220 firstname.lastname@example.orgSource:The National Association of Counties