Contra Costa Residents Save $800,000 with Free Discount Prescription Card
Monday, May 9, 2011
A free national prescription medication program has saved Contra Costa County residents more than $800,000 since it started here in 2010.
Individuals and families struggling to make ends meet have embraced the Coast2CoastRx card, which offers discounts of about 40% off roughly 60,000 generic and name brand medications. Since April 2010, when Contra Costa Health Plan launched the program in Contra Costa, cardholders have saved $879,783. The Coast2CoastRx card is free to everyone and easy to obtain, simply visit www.coast2coastrx.com/ContraCostaCA or visit a participating pharmacy.
Contra Costa Health Plan, a Division of Contra Costa Health Services, implemented the program to help its uninsured and underinsured residents pay for costly medications, according to CEO Patricia Tanquary. "With health care costs on the rise, this program helps ease the burden of medical costs on families," she said. "We're seeing people who can now afford their prescription medication and have money left over for groceries and other necessities."
Every month, consumers use the card more than 3,000 times for a total savings of $100,000 off the retail price. In addition to consumer savings, royalties paid to the county have raised more than $18,000 to help pay for medical care provided to people without insurance.
"All county residents, regardless of income and age can use the card and save on the cost of their medications," Tanquary said. Participation is easy. There is no cost or paperwork required to receive a card. There also are no health restrictions or screening for eligibility. A person can print one online or obtain one at a participating pharmacy and use it the same day.
While people who do not have health coverage have the most to gain, the card can benefit others as well. Tanquary said the card is useful to people with health savings accounts and seniors who fall into the Medicare Part D doughnut hole, when an annual set dollar amount has been spent on medication and the individual must pay full price.
About 150 pharmacies—including Rite-Aid, Walgreens and CVS—participate in the program countywide, according to Tanquary. To find a participating pharmacy, or to print a card, visit www.coast2coastrx.com/ContraCostaCA or visit www.cchealth.org for more information.
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