Discount Card Helps Families Get Prescriptions

Jul 28, 2013

Two organizations want uninsured and underinsured households to stop skipping prescriptions due to cost.

For a third year, the United Way of Allegheny County and FamilyWize Community Service Partnership are providing free prescription discount cards to help struggling families and individuals.

Cardholders can save 44 to 75 percent off their prescriptions at all chain pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide.

Angela Reynolds, United Way Director of Programs for Financially Struggling Adults and Families, said people going without prescriptions is a large issue.

“There are a substantial number of households who don’t have the necessary insurance that they would have in order to buy the prescriptions that they need,” Reynolds said. “And so there are also many households who are for whatever reason are going without, so there are some who are not having their prescription filled and then there are also a small percentage that are parsing them out over time if they’re not able to get it and also sharing prescriptions.”

According to the Commonwealth Fund, 52 percent of uninsured adults with a chronic condition either skipped doses or failed to fill a prescription because of the cost.

She said more than 22,000 claims were submitted to the partnership for prescriptions in 2012. From January to May of this year, more than 9,400 claims were submitted.

According to the United Way, the cards save people an average of $20 per prescription and saved 11,805 people in Allegheny County almost $1,151,000 last year.

“The goal of this is to make sure everyone is getting their meds so it does apply to FDA approved medicines, but anyone who’s in need can access it,” Reynolds said.

People interested in getting a card can contact the United Way’s human services helpline by dialing 2-1-1.

Reynolds said all cardholders need to do is submit their card with their prescription form and they get the discount.

“They’re available to anyone, so anyone can use them, there’s no application that anyone would need to fill out, there’s no personal information that’s collected and there’s no activation fee so they just take the card with them and they’re able to get the discount,” Reynolds said.