At the end of August, every household in Madison County received a prescription drug discount card. It was not a scam. The program was approved by the Madison County Board at its August meeting and the cards were sent out by ProAct Inc., a Syracuse, N.Y.-based pharmacy benefit management company.
The Madison County ProAct Prescription Drug Discount Card program helps county residents save money on prescription medications that are not covered by insurance. The cards can be used by all county residents regardless of age, income or existing health coverage. The program is free and there are no enrollment forms, membership fees or restrictions on how frequently the cards are used. Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan announced the agreement at the August meeting of the Madison County Board.
“The Madison County ProAct card is not a replacement for health insurance, but it is a significant benefit that helps make prescription drugs that are not covered by insurance more affordable for residents,” Dunstan said. “It’s another proactive effort by Madison County government to help county residents. This program, combined with the numerous programs administered and implemented by Madison County Community Development, go a long way in helping residents who are uninsured or underserved.”
Annette Schoeberle, Madison County director of safety and risk management, says the Madison County prescription discount card is free and easy to use.
“The cards are completely free,” Schoeberle said. “A cardholder will simply present the card at a participating pharmacy. There is no enrollment form, no membership fee and no restrictions or limits on how often the card is used. County residents can use the card anytime their prescriptions are not covered by insurance,” she added. “Importantly, the card can also be used by residents who have health insurance coverage, without or with limited prescription drug benefits.”
According to Schoeberle, the county receives nothing from the program in the way of remuneration - but, by the same token, there is no cost to the county, either. It’s simply a way of helping county residents who do not either have prescription drug coverage or have limited drug coverage.
Karin Eckdahl is an account executive with ProAct. She says the company has been offering the program in the eastern states for some time but is branching out into the Midwest. Madison County is the third Illinois county to come on board with the program, joining Tazewell County east/southeast of Peoria as well as St. Clair County. Eckdahl expects additional counties to opt in.
“It’s a really neat program for those residents who are paying for prescription drugs out of pocket,” said Eckdahl. “It allows them to receive a discount on their medications - both brand name and generic. They can have savings anywhere up to 20 percent on brand name drugs and up to 50 percent on generics.”
ProAct works with counties to get their support so residents will know that it’s legitimate, Schoeberle says. In fact, the cards carry the county logo on the front. Still, some residents think it’s too good to be true, she says.
“I’ve actually received a few phone calls from people who thought it was some kind of a scam and threw it away, and then called me to see if they could get another one,” she said.
The cards are already pre-activated. All that a resident needs to do is present it to his or her pharmacy. And, this is not a limited time offer, according to Schoeberle. There is no end date.
If Madison County residents have lost the card or would like additional ones, they can download a card via the Internet at www.ProActRxSavings.com. Dunstan says the program can even be used for participating eligible vision and hearing programs, dental services and pet medications that can be filled at participating pharmacies. A list of participating pharmacies can be viewed by ZIP code on ProAct’s website.
“We get positive feedback from these pharmacies,” Eckdahl said. “We don’t offer mail order prescriptions with the program. Our main goal is to keep the business local and within the county. Pharmacies receive that very well. We’re there to keep the business local and within the county. We’re not there to take away business. We’re there to add.”