Wauconda Township has joined the ranks of governmental entities making a discount prescription card available in an arrangement officials say can save money even for those with insurance.
The Coast2Coast Rx card is accepted by most chains and other pharmacies and comes at no cost to residents. Wauconda Township is among about three dozen townships in the Chicago area and the second in Lake County that offer the card, which is not intended to replace insurance.
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Pharmacies that join the program pay Coast2Coast a portion of their professional/administrative fees as a way to attract business.
The card has been available at the township office, 505 W. Bonner Road for several weeks but it is now being publicized. It also is available at most participating pharmacies and can be printed from the website www.coast2coastrx.com/Wauconda.
"I would like to see everybody in the township have a card," said Supervisor Glenn Swanson. Wauconda Township has 21,730 residents, but those outside the township also can sign up.
The card can be used as an option to compare prices, and at times is less expensive.
"What we urge our residents to do is shop it and just take the better deal," said Warren Township Supervisor Suzanne Simpson. Warren was the first in Lake County to use Coast2Coast.
Simpson said that for the most recent six month period, 956 prescriptions were filled at a savings of nearly $34,000.
"We're very happy with it," she added.
Those without insurance would be helped the most, she said.
Savings also apply to prescriptions for pets, as well as 50 percent to 80 percent discounts for lab and imaging tests, hearing and other services.
Niles Township was the first in the Chicago area to activate the plan in October 2010, according to Debby Karton, a Glenview resident, who markets the program in Illinois for Florida-based Financial Marketing Concepts.
Through last September, 10,133 prescriptions have been filed in Niles Township with a saving of nearly $311,000 to those who didn't have insurance, according to Karton. She said the average savings per prescription is about $35.
Governmental agencies were cautious at first but it is beginning to catch on.
"Nobody wanted to be the one to be first and not have this work," she said. Townships are targeted because they are the unit of government tasked with providing general assistance to residents.
Participating agencies receive a rebate of 50 cents for certain types of prescriptions filled after a threshold of 1,700. Swanson said any extra income would be put toward resident services, but that's not the reason the township joined.
"What I'm interested in is how much we can save people out there," he said. "We'll look at any way we can to save them money."