County begins offering prescription discount cards

Free program for all expected to save 20% on drug costs

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

Jan 2, 2008 - Hopkins County is launching a drug discount card for all local residents that can save 20 percent on prescription medications.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap and County Treasurer Treva Watson are excited about the free Hopkins County Prescription Discount Card, under a program sponsored by National Association of Counties), launched today locally, which can be used by all residents. The cards are free and expected to offer an average savings of 20 percent off of retail prices.

The cards are available to all Hopkins County residents regardless of age, income or health insurance coverage, and there are no restrictions on how many times the card can be used. Simply present the card at a participating pharmacy at the time you pick up a prescription.

And they are absolutely free — there is no enrollment fee, no membership fee, nothing.

"This is a major thing for Hopkins County, we think," said Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap, speaking on behalf of Hopkins County's elected officials. "This is something we're just tremendously pleased to participate in."

Another benefit is the cost to the county for the program, which is offered nationwide through National Association of Counties.

"It won't cost us anything," Millsap said. "Our cost basically is just our membership in National Association of Counties, which we're going to do anyway. We participate in a lot of grant programs that the national association pushes for counties, and it also provides us good representation in Washington on different items and bills that come before Congress. This is just one of the fringe benefits."

The cards are expected to be helpful for uninsured and underinsured residents, but can even help those with coverage.

"There are no limits," Millsap said. "You and your family may use this discount card at any time your prescription is not covered by insurance. And it could be used in conjunction with insurance. If, for example, insurance won't pay for coverage [on a particular drug], you could use it then."

The card cannot, however, be used in addition to any discounts or co-pays already offered through health insurance provider.

"This could also apply to any prescriptions for a pet," Millsap added. "We're checking on that."

Local pharmacies that will accept the card include Medicine Chest North and South and CVS.

Hopkins County Treasurer Treva Watson also expects Wal-Mart will accept the discount cars.

"Wal-Mart does accept Caremark, and these cards we have are through Caremark," said Treva Watson, who will act as the county's administrator for the program.

Millsap also noted that Walgreen's is one of the national chains that participates in the program, and the corporation is in the process of building a new store on South Broadway Street across from Lee Street.

Cards are available at various locations, including:

  • All Hopkins County offices.
  • Sulphur Springs Family Healthcare clinic, 105 Medical Plaza.
  • Texas Department of Health Services, 1400 College St.
  • Workforce Solutions of  Northeast Texas, 1110 Como St.

More information can be obtained by calling County Treasurer Treva Watson at 903-438-4003, or visiting the Caremark's website at www.caremark.com/ naco) for a list of participating pharmacies, estimates of prescription drug prices, drug interactions and other health care information, or call toll-free 1-877-321-2652.

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