Residents should take advantage of prescription discount program

CHAIR’S 3 MINUTES

Even though health care is directly under the jurisdiction of the state in Hawaii, counties have proactively attempted to deal with the rising cost of health care.

The Hawaii State Association of Counties, consisting of state’s four counties, has been part of a national discount prescription drug program called Live Healthy, which has been helping consumers across the nation save on their prescription medication purchases. This beneficial resource is often untapped and I urge all our residents to take advantage of this program that has saved users an average of 24 percent on their prescription drug purchases.

Live Healthy is part of the National Association of Counties Prescription Discount Card Program and administered by CVS Caremark. It is intended to help residents save money on their prescription medications not covered by insurance. The program is not insurance, cannot be used in conjunction with insurance and is not subsidized by taxpayers. It is a bulk-buying program by NACo aimed at reducing drug costs for residents.

Anyone can apply for a discount card online at nacorx.org. There are no annual limits, no extensive forms to fill out, no waiting periods, no age or income requirements and no medical condition restrictions.

Think of the card as a prescription drug coupon. The discount card is free and there is no fee to join. Everyone in the family may use just one card, or each can have their own.

I am pleased to be able to share this great program with our residents, especially those struggling to meet the rising costs of prescription medicine and those not covered by health plans. For residents that require monthlong supplies of prescription medication this program will help them save.

Though the program does not cover over-the-counter products and nonprescription medications, some discounts may apply for many diabetic supplies. Ask your pharmacy directly for a chance to save more.

Another perk offered by this program is the discount extending to your pets’ veterinary prescribed medicines. The discount only works for medications that are also prescribed to treat human conditions and must be dispensed from a participating pharmacy. Examples are medications for seizures, heart conditions, infections, allergies, pain relief, diabetes and anti-depressants used to treat behavioral disorders in animals.

A list of medications that are often prescribed for pets is also available on nacorx.org.

Among the 68,000 pharmacies participating in the program nationwide, 29 pharmacies are participating in Maui County, including major chain pharmacies like Walgreens, Longs, Walmart, Costco and Safeway.

Other small-town pharmacies listed on nacorx.org include Maui Clinic Pharmacy in Kahului, Pharmerica in Wailuku, The Foodland Medicine Cabinet and Makawao Town Pharmacy in Makawao, Rainbow Pharmacy LLC and Wailea Pharmacy in Kihei, Napili Market Pharmacy and Times Pharmacy in Lahaina, Rainbow Pharmacy on Lanai and Molokai Drugs Inc. on Molokai.

Please help us spread the word by telling your friends and families about this money-saving program. For more information, visit nacorx.org.

• Stacy Crivello is the president of the Hawaii State Association of Counties. She holds the Maui County Council seat for the Molokai residency area. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters. Go to mauicounty.us for more information.

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