Under an agreement with Financial Marketing Concepts, Inc. approved by the Ellis County Commissioners’ Court last month, a new prescription discount program has been launched in Ellis County.

“We are always exploring programs that are of benefit to our citizens,” said County Judge Carol Bush. “We are proud to be able to provide our residents with additional relief in the face of rising prescription drug costs.”

The Ellis County/Coast2Coast prescription discount card offers significant savings for the uninsured and underinsured residents of Ellis County. Even residents with prescription coverage can use the card to save money on drugs that are not covered by their health plan – such as medications for family pets, for instance.

“Most importantly, there is no cost to use the card, and no cost to the taxpayers of Ellis County,” Bush said. “In fact, the county receives a royalty on a per-filled-prescription basis. The royalty comes out of the pharmacy dispensing fee, so there is no increased cost to the person who is using the card.”

Savings with the Coast2Coast card are expected to be greater than those experienced by users of the National Association of Counties prescription discount card available in Ellis County since 2006.

 “We have reviewed the data provided by Coast2Coast and the data provided by NACo, and it looks like card users could see as much as a 15 percent greater discount with the Coast2Coast card,” said special projects director Holly Davis.

Davis also noted that in Dallas County, where the Coast2Coast plan was implemented last year, almost four times as many residents utilized the Coast2Coast card compared to the NACo card.

“This card will help people put some money back in their pockets to meet other necessities,” said Bush. “This is important in these difficult economic times; and if we can take the bite out of purchasing medications, we may actually be helping people to improve their health and the health of their families.”

Pharmacies also will enjoy providing discounts to their customers and hope to see additional business as a result.

“Using the Ellis County/Coast2Coast Rx discount card is easy,” said Ed Rahn of Financial Marketing Concepts. “Simply present it at a participating pharmacy. There is no enrollment form, no membership fee and no restrictions or limits on usage. Cardholders and their family members may use the card any time their prescriptions are not covered by insurance or other means.”

According to Rahn, some prescriptions have small discounts, while others are as high as 95 percent off the retail rate.

“Collectively, we’re expecting Ellis County cardholders to save tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars every month by using the card,” Rahn said. “The card is primarily for people without health insurance, although there are a number of instances where people with health insurance may save using the card. For example, people with high deductibles or a health savings account. Some drugs aren’t covered by health policies, so the card will help save in these situations. Lastly, Medicare Part D participants that don’t have supplemental coverage for their ‘doughnut hole’ period might also be able to save using the card.”

Some important facts about the Coast2Coast Rx County Card:

• 59,000-plus participating pharmacies nationwide, including all major chains and most independents

• More than 60,000 medications included in the formulary

• Savings up to 65 percent on brand name and generic drugs

• Card is good for an entire family and even family pets

• Cardholder pays no fees for the card

• No paperwork to fill out – card can be printed direct at www.coast2coastrx.com

• Cards are also available at participating pharmacies and many County offices

• Everyone is eligible to use the card as there are no health or income restrictions

• Card has no expiration date and can be used as often as needed

• Cardholder information is held confidential and is not used for any other purpose

• Card includes substantial discounts on lab and imaging tests as well

“The Coast2Coast prescription discount card will provide residents with a valuable tool to help maintain their health and well-being at a reduced cost,” Bush said. “This program has been very successful in Dallas County and I am pleased to be able to offer it to Ellis County residents.”