CHAMPAIGN — Need help paying for prescription drugs?
The United Way of Champaign County says it has free discount cards available that can be used to get a lower price on prescription drugs at participating stores.
The local United Way has been working with a leading free discount drug card provider, FamilyWize Community Service Partnership, since 2008, and the savings from distributing the cards have added up to $191,379 for 2,573 people, the agency says.
Nationally, the card has helped more than 5.5 million people save money on prescription drugs, according to FamilyWize.
There are other discount prescription drug cards available, but United Way has a history with FamilyWize and feels comfortable referring people to this program, says Beverley Baker, director of community impact for United Way of Champaign County.
The discount cards can be picked up at the local United Way offices at 404 W. Church St., or anyone can print their own card from the agency's website at http://www.uwayhelps.org , Baker said
Or to get a free electronic card on your cellphone to show the pharmacist, text "family" to 700700.
The United Way also distributes the cards to human service agencies, schools and churches around the community, Baker said.
"It's good just to let people know that it's out there," she said.
FamilyWize says its goal is to reduce the cost of prescriptions medicines for the public by $1 billion by the end of 2015.
According to information on its website at http://www.familywize.org , the cards are like reusable prescription coupons available to anyone without restriction, waiting period or forms to fill out, and they're accepted at several chain pharmacies in the East Central Illinois.
People needing the card include those without health insurance, or people with insurance needing to buy medicine that isn't covered by their health plans, Medicaid or Medicare.
Savings can run as high as 75 percent, but the average savings is 35 percent, or $17, per prescription, according to FamilyWize.