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County offers prescription assistance program

Beginning this summer, Kitsap County will provide cards that are redeemable for prescription discounts from local pharmacies.

The program is sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo) in partnership with drug retailer CVS/Caremark, Inc. of Nashville, Tenn.

More than 59,000 pharmacies are participating nationwide. Which local pharmacies participate has yet to be determined, according to Kitsap County Human Services Planner Gay Neal.

The card will be available free of charge to any county resident and will be usable by the cardholder and their family with no further identification required.

The cards will also require a certain degree of consumer awareness to be most effective.

The cards will provide an average 20 percent discount per transaction.

In many cases, the discounts provided through insurance and medication will exceed that discount, while some drugs that are not covered by individual plans will be available at a reduced rate by using the discount cards.

In either case, the cards cannot be used in conjunction with insurance, but consumers may choose to use the discount cards instead of their regular insurance.

As an example, some insurance plans will only cover certain drugs or generics in an existing category, forcing the consumer to pay full price if that particular version of the drug does not fit their needs.

Using the discount card will bring the cost of the drug in line with what it would cost if it were covered by the insurance plan.

While comparing medication prices, consumers will also need to seek out participating pharmacies and the drugs offered by each. In many cases, specific drugs are offered only though specialty pharmacies. Consumers will also have the option to order drugs by mail.

The card also includes a safety feature, alerting the consumer if one of their drugs conflict with another medicine the cardholder is taking.

This program will be offered at no cost to the county, taxpayers or consumers.

There are no enrollment fees or required forms for participants and it is open to all residents regardless of insurance coverage or Medicare participation. It required approval from the county commissioners, which was granted at Monday’s regular meeting.

County Residents can call toll free (877) 321-2652 or visit www.naco.advancerx.com for further information about the program.

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