Eagle County battles health-care costs | AspenTimes.com

Eagle County battles health-care costs

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” Eagle County joined a unique program this month to help make prescription drugs more affordable for its residents.

The county enrolled in a program sponsored by the National Association of Counties that offers average savings of 20 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs.

To participate, county residents must pick up a discount card. That card can be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage. However, the cards can only be used when residents’ prescriptions are not covered by their insurance.

There are nine pharmacies, including two in the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County, that will accept the cards. The Basalt Clinic Pharmacy and El Jebel City Market Pharmacy are participating in the program. Cards can be picked up at those locations as well as the Eagle County Health and Human Services Office in the county building in El Jebel.

There is no cost to Eagle County taxpayers for residents to participate in the program, county officials stressed, and participants don’t pay a membership fee. They can use the card for themselves and their family members as often as needed.

Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi said the program will be a big benefit to the thousands of uninsured residents of the county.

“Alarmingly in Eagle County, home to Vail Beaver/Creek and next to the Aspen ski resorts, over 13,000 of our 45,000 residents are not insured,” Menconi said in a prepared statement. “Businesses with less than 50 employees are stressed to provide adequate health care and this program will help.”

Commissioner Peter Runyon said even people who are covered by a health plan should pick up the discount card.

“The NACo prescription discount card will offer significant savings for the uninsured and underinsured residents of our county, and even those fortunate to have prescription coverage may use the card to save money on drugs that are not covered by their health plan,” Runyon said.

Eagle County has more details about the program posted on its website at http://www.eaglecounty.us/drugprogram, or residents can call (970) 328-8847.

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