Area residents can now obtain cards through two local programs that provide discounts when buying prescription drugs.
One card is offered through the city of Joplin and the National League of Cities for Joplin residents. The other is being offered by United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas for people in the region.
The cards are free and, in the case of the National League of Cities program that Joplin is joining, can provide an average discount of 23 percent off the retail price of prescriptions at participating pharmacies. The cards are for those who do not have insurance or for drugs that are not covered by insurance. United Way officials said their card may provide average discounts of up to 30 percent at participating pharmacies.
There are no restrictions for age, income or existing health problems to obtain the card.
“Given the current economic climate, where many people need to watch what they spend, we are happy to partner with the National League of Cities to make this prescription discount card available to our residents,” Dan Pekarek, the Joplin Health Department director, said in a statement on Friday.
“This card helps residents who are completely uninsured, as well as residents who have insurance but have specific medications that are not covered by their insurance.”
The league’s program was proposed to the city by Mayor Pro Tem Melodee Colbert-Kean and former City Council member Jim West.
The cards can be printed off a website at www.caremark.com/nlc. They also can be obtained at the city health department, the Joplin Public Library and at some local medical clinics.
There are 20 local pharmacies that accept the card. The names can be found on the website or by calling 888-620-1749.
CVS Caremark administers the program.
The United Way’s FamilyWize cards can be printed at www.FamilyWize.org. Drug prices and participating pharmacies will be listed on the site.
“Health care costs are one of the top concerns for people in our community,” Bonnie Carter, interim executive director of the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas, said in a statement on Friday. “Forty percent of adults don’t buy the medicine they need, have difficulty affording it or reduce the required dosage because of the high cost.”