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County residents save more than $40,640 on prescriptions in 2013

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:27 p.m. CDT

MORRIS – A new, 10-year national partnership has been announced between United Way and FamilyWize Community Service Partnership to help families who are uninsured or underinsured.

Through a national education campaign and the distribution of free prescription savings cards, FamilyWize, United Way of Grundy County and United Way Worldwide are on a mission to help millions of individuals and families get the medicines they need, and ultimately ensure that everyone has access to affordable prescription medications.

FamilyWize is a social enterprise that is improving the health and financial stability of millions of Americans who are uninsured or underinsured, according to a news release from United Way of Grundy County.

The goal of the partnership is to deliver $1 billion in prescription savings, according to the release. Locally, Grundy County residents saved more than $40,640 in 2013; and already over $6,000 in savings in 2014 to date.

“We are happy to partner with FamilyWize to help protect the health and well-being of our community,” said Karen Nall, Executive Director of United Way of Grundy County, in the release. “The consequences of skipping medications can be devastating from disease progression to large medical bills and bankruptcy, which is why making prescriptions affordable and accessible for families is one priority for United Way.”

According to Consumer Reports, Americans who are struggling financially tend to skip their medicines or lower their dosages. Anywhere from 29 million to 44 million people annually will remain without insurance and prescription benefits over the next 10 years – as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

“The FamilyWize card is the primary prescription benefit for millions without health insurance and a critical backup benefit for the underinsured when medicine isn’t covered by their health plan – which, sadly, statistics show the majority of American families struggle to pay for prescriptions,” said Dan Barnes, president and CEO of FamilyWize, in the release. “Without prescription assistance, families are left making difficult decisions between getting medications and buying food. The United Way national partnership will mean we can reach deep into communities across the country to help tens of millions of people afford the medications they need and deserve.”

Nearly 1,000 United Ways will participate to promote a variety of initiatives, said Susan Gilmore, executive director of community engagement, FamilyWize, in the release.

Additionally, FamilyWize and United Way of Grundy County work with companies to reach employees and customers who do not have access to prescription benefits or choose to opt out of these benefits, providing them with an alternate access to affordable prescription medicine.

The prescription discount card helps uninsured and underinsured individuals and families offering an average savings discount of 40 percent and is sometimes as much as 75 percent or more, similar to what pharmacies give the largest insurance companies and employers.

The FamilyWize prescription card is accepted at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. To receive a free prescription discount card, contact the United Way of Grundy County at 815-942-4430 or visit www.UWGrundy.org to download. For information on FamilyWize, visit FamilyWize.org.

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