Program saves Yumans about $2 million in health care
The FamilyWize-United Way card is:
• Free and easy to use
• For immediate and unlimited use
• Requires no enrollment or personal information
• For use by anyone
• Accepted at every chain pharmacy and most independent pharmacies
A partnership between United Way of Yuma County and FamilyWize has saved residents about $2 million in health-care costs and almost half a million in prescription drugs since the program started locally in 2009.
As of Dec. 31, the FamilyWize-United Way partnership with local pharmacies has saved people living or working in this area more than $446,302 on prescription costs for common conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Residents saved an additional $1.9 million on other medical services related to heart disease and diabetes such as doctor's office visits, hospitalizations and surgeries.
Noting that thousands of prescriptions go unfilled simply because people can't afford them, the local United Way began working with FamilyWize Community Service Partnership to provide free prescription discount cards to residents.
“Lowering the cost of prescription drugs allows more people to get the medicine they need when they need it,” said Madeleine Coil, president and CEO of United Way of Yuma County.
But she points out that the savings don't stop there.
“The amount patients save on the cost of complications, disease progression and additional health-related expenses are far greater than just the savings on the medicine. This program impacts health and also financial stability, two building blocks of advancing the common good.”
Every dollar patients spend on prescription drugs to treat heart disease and diabetes saves them $3 to $10 on other medical services, according to a 2011 Health Affairs study cited by United Way of Yuma County and FamilyWize.
“That's why we've partnered with FamilyWize to distribute free prescription discount cards to everyone in our area. It's wonderful that almost every local pharmacy participates in this program that helps our community so much,” Coil said.
The FamilyWize prescription discount card can save residents as much as 75 percent on medications. The card requires no enrollment or activation. Consumers just hand the card to their pharmacists every time a prescription is needed and discounts are automatically applied.
“The cards can be used by everyone in the community, not just people without insurance,” Coil said. “They can even be used by people with insurance who have high deductibles or take medicine not covered by their plan or by people with Medicaid or Medicare when their prescription isn't covered.”
The card also makes a difference on someone's health, according to Ellen Imber, vice president of community outreach for FamilyWize.
“The FamilyWize card provides immediate savings on prescription medicines and can make a difference in staying healthy. We hope everyone will help spread the word to their family and friends about this important free help,” Imber said.
To get a FamilyWize discount card, call United Way of Yuma County at 783-0515 or visit www.FamilyWize.org to print a card for immediate use. Or text “family” to 700700 for a text version of the card.
Mara Knaub can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.