by Bette Jane Kowalski
Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders
A new resource is available for Union County residents who are struggling with the high cost of health care. It’s called the Union County Wellness Program. It can help you save money on prescription drugs, along with other health care savings.
The main feature of the Wellness Program is a discount plan that helps to lower the cost of prescription drugs. It’s ideal for Union County residents who have no insurance coverage, including students and the self-employed. If you have an insurance policy that provides drug coverage, the Wellness Program can help close gaps and reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
The Freeholder Board started the Wellness Program after hearing of its success in Bergen County. When we learned the details of the plan, we knew it was a good choice. There are no restrictions, and the program is open to all Union County residents regardless of age, pre-existing conditions, or other factors.
The Wellness Program discounts can range from 10 percent to 50 percent, for an average of about 30 percent. On some medications, the savings can be as high as 75 percent.
The Wellness Program is free and easy to use. It is not an insurance policy. It is simply a discount plan supported by participating medical companies, so there are no forms, fees, or hidden costs. A membership card is provided free of charge. When you purchase your prescription drugs, your pharmacist or cashier scans your card and searches a database for the best available discounts.
You can download free membership cards and get more information by visiting the County website at www.ucnj.org/wellnessdiscount. Discounts are also available for hearing aids, vision care, dental care, diabetes supplies, and certain pet medications.
If you don’t have Internet access, you can leave a voice message with your name and address at the Union County Wellness Program hotline, 908-527-4750, and we will mail a free card and brochure to you.
The Wellness Program is a step in the right direction. We also expect Union County residents to benefit from President Obama’s new health care reforms. Independent analysis has confirmed that the new reforms help to reduce the federal budget deficit while making affordable insurance available to more households. They also help small businesses with new tax credits, they provide important new consumer protections against arbitrary denial of coverage, and they prevent insurers from dropping you when you get sick.
There is still work to be done, but step by step we are progressing toward a more efficient, reasonable and fair health care system that will benefit Union County residents.