Created on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 Written by THE BELLEFONTAINE EXAMINER STAFF
Free prescription cards distributed by United Way of Logan County are under utilized, local leaders say, and they hope more people take advantage of the easy-to-get, easy-to-use benefit.
United Way of Logan County and the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership have teamed up to make prescriptions more affordable for local residents without insurance or whose insurance plans don’t cover their medicine.
Since its inception, FamilyWize cards have saved 4,679 local people more than $523,678 on the cost of their medicine.
Yet, many are missing out on the opportunity, the local United Way reports.
“In 2013, we’d like to see every person in our community who is unemployed, uninsured, has to buy medicine not covered by their health plan or government program, or is unable to get the medicine they need for any reason, get a FamilyWize card from our United Way,” said James Donnelly, executive director of the United Way of Logan County. “We also encourage them to see what other services we can refer them to — like food banks and pantries, utility and housing assistance, and more.
“We know these are still hard times for many people and we’re here to help.”
National surveys in the last two years by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that supports independent research on health care issues, notes particular difficulties for people who lost insurance when they became uninsured as follows:
• 57 percent who had health benefits through their jobs and then lost their jobs became uninsured; and
• 52 percent of uninsured adults with a chronic condition skipped doses or did not fill a prescription for their condition because of the cost.
Even people with insurance through their employer may find that cost keeps them from taking medicine as prescribed, particularly those with high deductible plans.
According to an Employee Benefits Research Institute study, 31 percent of people who had a deductible of at least $1,000 skipped a dose or didn’t fill a prescription because of cost.
“Our partnership with United Way Worldwide and almost 1,000 local United Ways nationwide gives us a national platform to help people in every community across the country,” said Dan Barnes, FamilyWize CEO and co-founder.
Mr. Barnes added that FamilyWize has the capacity to help many more people and will be working hard to do so.
Nationwide, FamilyWize has:
• helped 5.2 million people and is adding 5,000 a day; and
• $470 million saved on the cost of medications.
“Locally or nationwide, what’s most important is that most of the time we save people about $20 per prescription when they use this card,” Mr. Donnelly said. “That’s money in their pocket when they need it most to pay bills and other necessities.”
Average savings are almost 40 percent and can be as high as 75 percent. FamilyWize cards can be used at most pharmacies including all chain pharmacies and groceries nationwide.
Stop by the United Way of Logan County office in the Main Street Marketplace building at 130 S. Main Street for additional information and a free card. Visit www.familywize.org to download a card or text “family” to 700700 to get a text version of the card.