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Prescription discount card saves millions

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Seminole Voice | Baldwin Park Living | Independence Lane |

Prescription discount card saves millions Like

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• By ROBERT H. BROWN • May 1, 2013 1:04 p.m. Relief is in sight for many Central Floridians who struggle to afford their medical prescriptions. Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) has partnered with the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership to offer the free FamilyWize discount card, which provides average savings of almost 40 percent at most pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide.


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So far, more than 49,000 local residents have saved nearly $3 million using FamilyWize cards. On average, cardholders save $20 per prescription, with some seeing discounts of up to 75 percent. For struggling Central Floridians, that extra money in their pockets can allow them to pay bills and purchase other necessities. While the savings are cause for celebration, there is still overwhelming need in our community. HFUW is working hard to reach everyone who can’t afford medications – especially those hit hard by the economic downturn. In a survey by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation supporting independent research on health care issues, 57 percent of respondents who had health benefits through their employer became uninsured after losing their jobs. And 52 percent of uninsured adults with a chronic condition skipped doses or did not fill a prescription for their condition because of cost.


Prescription discount card saves millions

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Even those with insurance through their employer may find that cost keeps them from taking medicine as prescribed, particularly those with highdeductible health plans. According to an Employee Benefits Research Institute study, 31 percent of people who had a deductible of at least $1,000 skipped a dose or didn’t fill a prescription because of cost. Retirees don’t have it any easier – quite the contrary, in fact. Seniors on fixed incomes often face the most brutal struggle, especially those who depend on multiple medications. No matter their age or walk of life, no one should have to make the terrible choice between medicine and basic human needs such as food and shelter. That’s why Heart of Florida United Way is one of 1,000 local United Ways to join the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership over the last seven years. United Way Worldwide recently named FamilyWize a Preferred Partner, providing a platform to help people in every community across the country. So far, we’ve helped 5.2 million people save $470 million nationwide. Here in Central Florida, we’re setting our goals high. In 2013, we want to provide a FamilyWize discount card to every person in our community who is unemployed or uninsured, has to buy medication not covered by their health plan or government program, or is otherwise unable to get the medicine they need. We also encourage them to explore our other services, such as food banks and pantries, utility and housing assistance, and more. Times are still hard for many of our neighbors, and Heart of Florida United Way is here to help. To request a free FamilyWize card, contact us by dialing 2-1-1. Robert H. (Bob) Brown is president and CEO of the Heart of Florida United Way.


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