Some Star Valley residents could soon be saving an average of 20 percent off costly prescription medications after the town signed up for the program last week.
The town is working with the National League of Cities to offer free discount prescription drug cards to any area resident.
The cards are designed to give residents without health insurance a pharmacy benefit plan or have prescriptions not covered by insurance at a savings.
Anyone is eligible for a card since the program has no age, income or existing health coverage or ailments restrictions. The card is accepted at all major pharmacies, including those in Payson.
In Show Low, the program has been in place since June of 2009. Since then, 240 residents have saved a total of $2,750 on 481 prescriptions, according to Steve North, business development director with the City of Show Low.
“On a monthly basis, an average of 7.5 citizens saved 20.6 percent on prescription drug costs,” North said. “Overall, the City of Show Low is very pleased with the program. Citizens have received much-needed relief on health care costs with minimum investment on the city’s part.”
The National League of Cities (NLC) piloted the program in four cities in 2008. The program was a success and quickly expanded. It is now available in 500 cities nationally, said Brad Stone, with the NLC.
CVS Caremark administers the program, which is accepted in 60,000 pharmacies.
Each time a person fills a prescription, they should present the card to their pharmacy, Stone said. The pharmacy will check to see if there is any discount through the program. If there is, the customer automatically receives the savings. If, however, the resident also has insurance and it is cheaper to go through that, the Caremark discount will not apply. This makes it a no-risk program for consumers, he said.
“You can rest assured you will always pay the lower price.”
The card cannot be combined with insurance discounts and does not go toward a co-pay. Depending on the drug, customers save on average 25 percent or upwards of $15 on each prescription.
Pharmacies opt into the program because it is a great way to build customer loyalty and drive new traffic in, North said. The Star Valley council voted to pay the $456 to join the NLC and receive the benefits of the program.
The council agreed it was a small price to pay if it helped residents.
Councilor Vern Leis said when you figure the cost per capita is roughly $5, joining the NLC is inexpensive.
“This is just one more way we can show citizens that we are here to help them in any way we can,” said Councilor Barbara Hartwell.
Mayor Bill Rappaport said if no one uses the program, the town could opt out next year.
The town should receive membership cards in seven to 10 weeks. Call town hall at (928) 472-7752 for more information.