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Bartholomew County residents now can take advantage of a new, no-cost discount prescription program that last year saved residents in other Indiana counties $600,000 in June and more than $700,000 in July.
The prescription program is part of an annual $1,500 fee that Bartholomew County pays for membership in the National Association of Counties. The national organization had been offering the benefit to Bartholomew County for at least five or six years, but the county previously chose not to participate.
The contract with the commissioners suggested average price reductions of 22 percent over the uninsured cost for medications, but some medicines will have up a 75 percent reduction in costs.
“The amount of the discount depends on the drug that has been prescribed and the agreement that the pharmacist has with NACO,” said David A. Bottorff, executive director of the Association of Indiana Counties.
Discounts average $10 to $15 for prescription and sometimes up to $25, depending on the drug, he said.
Although the card can be used by local residents with insurance coverage, generally prescription prices negotiated by an insurance company will be better than the prices available under the NACO plan, Bottorff said. However, people with insurance also can present the free card, and the pharmacy will offer the better of the two prices, Bottorff said.
The cards are available in English and Spanish; and they already are activated, so there is no paperwork to fill out, Bottorff said.
A search of the plan’s website, nacorx.org, showed 24 pharmacies within 20 miles of the 47201 area code that accept the card.
Cards are available free at county offices and other high-traffic locations, including nonprofit offices and township trustees’ offices. Distribution is being handled by the Bartholomew County Health Department.
Jorge Morales, president of Bartholomew County Council, said he expected residents to see a tremendous savings with the drug plan.
“I think it is a heck of a good deal, and I appreciate the cooperation of the commissioners and the council getting this thing done,” Morales said.
The county will receive a $1 marketing reimbursement fee for each transaction, and the provider, CaremarkPCS Health LLC, also will see a portion of the transaction cost, but those amounts will be included as part of the transaction and will be invisible to consumers.
Although the cards are offered to counties nationwide, Indiana sees the most use from the cards, Bottorff said.
“I just think that when they rolled the card out, Indiana county officials took it under their wings and marketed it enthusiastically,” Bottorff said.
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