This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich., and will be in The Monroe Evening News soon:

The United Way of Monroe County and the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership have teamed up to make prescriptions more affordable for Monroe County residents without insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover needed medications.

The FamilyWize cards have saved 1,187 people in the area more than $100,668 on the cost of their medicine. The typical savings is $20 per presecription.

“However, there are still many more people whose health is endangered because their prescriptions are too expensive and they are not getting the medicines they need,” the United Way reports.

The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that supports independent research on health care issues, has researched the impact of those who lose insurance. According to its study, 57 percent of those who had health benefits through their jobs and then lost their jobs became uninsured

In addition, 52 percent of uninsured adults with a chronic condition skipped doses or did not fill a prescription for their condition because of the cost

Even people who have workplace-provided insurance may find that cost keeps them from taking medicine as prescribed, particularly those with “High Deductible 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.

“In 2013, we’d like to see every person in our community who is unemployed, uninsured, has to buy medicine not covered by their health plan or government program, or is unable to get the medicine they need for any reason, get a FamilyWize card from our United Way,” said Connie L. Carroll, Executive Director of the United Way of Monroe County. “We also encourage them to see what other services we can refer them to – like food banks and pantries, utility and housing assistance, and more.  We know these are still hard times for many people and we’re here to help.”
United Way of Monroe County is among the more than I,000 local United Way agencies that have joined the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership during the last 7 years.

“Our partnership with United Way Worldwide and almost 1,000 local United Ways nationwide gives us a national platform to help people in every community across the country,” said Dan Barnes, FamilyWize CEO and Co-founder,”

FamilyWize cards can be used at most pharmacies including all chain pharmacies and groceries nationwide.

For information on this program, call United Way of Monroe County at (734) 242-1331 or go to www.familywize.org to download a card or text “family” to 700700 to get a text version of the card.

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