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County prescription drug programs benefits grow

Jan 20, 2011 6:39 am
In its first two months of operation, a prescription drug discount program has saved Greene County residents more than $18,000, according to the county in a local sidelight story commenting on the current healthcare hullabaloo down in the U.S. Congress. The Daily Freeman's Ariel Zangla-Girard reports January 20 that the Greene County Prescription Drug Discount Card, offered to county residents through a partnership with ProAct Inc., has saved locals $18,243.61 since it was introduced last November, according to information provided by the county. The county said 384 cards were used in November and December for an average savings of $27.81. “Obviously, there’s tremendous benefits to those without insurance and those who need medicine not covered by their insurance,” county Legislature Chairman Wayne Speenburgh, R-Cosxackie, said while adding that he would like to see more county residents take advantage of the free discount card. ProAct, at its own expense, mailed more than 24,000 prescription drug discount cards to county residents beginning the week of Nov. 8. While the program was advertised as being of most benefit to people lacking prescription drug insurance and seniors paying out of pocket for the Medicare Part D coverage gap, all county residents are eligible to participate, regardless of age or income. The discount card also can be used for pet medications.

Speenburgh said that when ProAct originally approached Greene officials about offering the discount card, the county took a “wait and see” approach because a lot of other counties were offering the program. But after a time, the county contacted ProAct to offer the program in Greene, Speenburgh said. He noted the card carries no cost for the individuals who use it and no cost for county taxpayers.

Neighboring Ulster County also offers the ProAct program to its residents. Between July and October 2010, Ulster County residents used the discount card 3,833 times for a total savings of $125,971.62. In Dutchess County, a partnership with the National Association of Counties had served nearly 8,600 residents as of November, with a total savings of $354,676.

If individuals need the card, they should call ProAct at (877) 776-2285, Speenburgh said.
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