AARP to provide applications for prescriptions savings

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 6, 2003

To some people, saving $80 a month may not seem like a big deal, but for 86-year-old Ruth Miller and other senior citizens, any savings can be a big help.

The Proctorville resident takes 14 pills a day and has one prescription that costs $120 a month. As a member of the Pfizer Share Card program, she has been able to save $80 a month.

"Well, with my income, I would say it helps a lot," she said. " I take an awful lot of medicine and it costs me."

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After helping more than 600 people apply since the programs began, the Lawrence County chapter of the AARP will provide applications for Together RX Prescription Savings Card and the Pfizer Share Card program that could ease costs on expensive prescriptions.

Volunteers will be at the Ironton Senior Citizens Center in the Park Avenue Apartments, 202 Park Ave., Thursday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to assist with the applications.

Miller said she saves money on only one of her prescription's because of the types of medicine she takes, but would encourage others to apply because they may save a lot more.

"I would say it would be a big help to people," she said. "Some people may not even get as much (income) as I do and may be on more (eligible) medicines."

Last July, more than 150 seniors showed up to fill out the applications. All together, the AARP has enrolled more than 600 people, said Marilyn Grant Howard, president of the Lawrence County AARP.

Seniors enrolled in Medicare with an income less than $18,000, or $24,000 for couples, may apply for the Pfizer Share Card Program. This provides prescription drugs for $15 for a 30 day supply.

If the total income is less than $28,000, or $38,000 for couples, seniors can apply for the Together RX Prescription Savings Card. It gives from 20 to 40 percent discounts on drugs manufactured by eight pharmaceutical companies.

"It all depends on the medications they are taking to determine how much they save,"Howard said. "If they are on a lot of medications it can be a considerable savings."

Applicants must bring their Medicare card, 2002 tax return or their Social Security Benefit Verification Statement.

Seniors can apply for both cards and should apply even if they are currently healthy, she said. Eligibility is based solely on income and does not include assets.

"Anything you are able to save, when you are living on a fixed income, would be beneficial to seniors," she said. "I would think even if it only saves them a little bit, then they may be able to pay a utility bill or buy more food.

"We have had people tell us that they would take their medicine every other day so their prescriptions would last longer," Howard said. "That is not good for people to do."