Drug discount saving county residents thousands

Program saves card users 10-50 percent on prescriptions

Refilling a prescription can leave you a little light in the wallet, but Schenectady County residents have found some relief in that area since the county began its Prescription Drug Discount Card program in February 2009. Since then, savings of more than $783,000 have been realized countywide, with residents using the card more than 38,500 times.

This program has been more successful than I could have ever imagined when we started distributing the cards to residents last year, said Schenectady County Chairwoman Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, in a statement. "Every little bit can help during these difficult economic times, and I look forward to the drug discount card bringing additional savings to Schenectady County families."

The initiative is a partnership with ProAct Inc., which is a pharmacy benefit management owned by Kinney Drugs from Gouverneur. About 800-1,000 Schenectady County residents are estimated to use the card each month.

"It is a hassle-free way for a residents to see some discounts on their prescription drugs cost," said Joe McQueen, spokesman for Schenectady County. "It does help a lot of our residents, especially families, when they need some form of relief for prescription drugs. It is also extremely beneficial for seniors."

Cards were mailed out to all county residents at the start of the program, and users can save between 10 to 50 percent on prescription drugs. The program, while open to all county residents, primarily benefits residents without prescription drug insurance and seniors paying for prescriptions under the Medicare Part D coverage gap.

"Generally, if you have coverage, then you are going to stick with your coverage," said McQueen. "Using this card could be cheaper than what you have on your plan."

The card helps senior stuck in the "doughnut hole" of Medicare coverage, because members pay 25 percent of their prescription costs up to $2,830. Once reaching that limit, seniors pay 100 percent of drug costs until reaching the end of the gap at $4,550. Then seniors can expect to pay around $3 to $6 for prescriptions.

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