Council approves discount prescription program



PROSPECT — Residents will soon receive additional help to pay for their prescriptions.

The Town Council in July authorized Mayor Robert Chatfield to enter into an agreement with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities for the town to take part in the Prescription Discount Card Program. The program supplies residents in participating towns with a prescription card.

The cards, which are administered by ProAct, Inc., cost nothing to the town or residents, and can be used in place of regular insurance to receive a discount on prescriptions.

Town Council member Patricia Gary said the cards would help those who do not have the insurance they may need. 

“I think it needs to be made perfectly clear to people … this is for either uninsured people or people whose insurance does not cover specific things. So somebody like me, who has a deductible, my insurance would continue, and this would not cover it. But things like glasses, things like hearing, I could still use this card because those things are not covered,” Geary said.

Chatfield said not everyone will need the cards, but there are some residents for which the cards will be of significant use.

“Some people throw the cards away but I see it coming in very handy for a lot of people in town,” Chatfield said.

Chatfield said that residents should see the cards arriving at their some time in September. Residents who do not receive the card can pick one up at Town Hall.

Town Council member Michael Scaviola questioned why, if the card is free and will be sent to everyone, the mayor was signing a contract with CCM.

“The contract means we have to do something. What are we doing for that?” Scaviola asked.

Town Council Chairman Thomas Galvin explained the contract states the town would not let another company come in and distribute similar cards for the next year.

“This offer costs zero, so I don’t know where we’d find a better one,” Galvin said.

Geary pointed out that the companies that offer these cards are not going to individual towns, but rather going to CCM to make a pitch and this was the company that CCM recommended.

Chatfield said that CCM would keep track of the total savings residents have had using this card so the town can make an informed decision moving forward next year.

Galvin said he didn’t see any negatives to the program.

“It gives people one option they didn’t have right now. It may not work for them, but if it does, it’s a plus,” Galvin said.

According to CCM’s website, the card saves people approximately 45 percent on their prescriptions and has saved Connecticut residents in the 85 participating municipalities a total of $540,000 since its creation a year ago. 

Chatfield said he talked to Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry, who said her residents saw a combined savings of $4,000 in the first month of using these cards. Roxbury is approximately half the population of Prospect.

Last September the Beacon Falls Board of Selectmen voted to enroll the town in the same prescription card program.

According to a monthly usage report provided to Beacon Falls by CCM, between November 2012 and June 2013 the cards have been used a total of 95 times by 61 cardholders in Beacon Falls for a total savings of $7,437. The average savings per use is about $78, according to the report.

“The program has been successful and beneficial for the residents,” Beacon Falls First Selectman Gerard Smith said in an email.