The California Rx Card Program announced last Thursday that since it began in 2007, it has saved California families almost $70 million on their prescriptions. Over five million prescriptions were filled at over thirty participating chains (both national and local) as well as numerous independent pharmacies all over the state.

Edward J. Brown III is program director of the program and said in a press release, "The California Rx Card helps uninsured and underinsured residents of California afford their prescription medications." He went on to say, "It is also used by people with health insurance coverage without prescription benefits, which is common in many health savings accounts (HSA) and high deductible health plans."

No one is ineligible for the California Rx Card program. A free card can be obtained by downloading from www.CaliforniaRxCard.com or simply by walking into a participating pharmacy and asking for the discount. If everyone is eligible, can everyone benefit? How many prescription programs cover every drug and how many people can afford them?

Suppose I'm a retired 66 year old person on low or limited income. I'm covered by Medicare and MediCal (California's version of Medicaid), and due to my low income get additional help under Medicare Part D. Still, there will eventually be certain drugs not covered. When that happens, the California Rx Card will help. No matter if the drug is not available in generic or not, if it isn't covered by all the other plans, the CRxCard still averages savings of about 30% with some discounts up to 75%. (These discounts apply to average wholesale prices and/or the store's usual and customary retail price.)

This program is not unique to California. The CaliforniaRxCard site states that it is administered by both United Networks of America and the UNA Rx Card. All three sites name thirty-three national chains participating in the program, including regional chains like Winn Dixie and the big boxes like Target and Walmart. In addition to the prescription drug card, United Networks also has programs for dental plans, cosmetic surgery, vision centers, health clubs, weight loss, diabetic, hearing, wellness, and a doctor on call program.

Over 50,000 pharmacies participate in this discount card program nationwide. Log on and get your free card or ask about it the next time you visit your drug store. Join Californians in reaping the benefits of these helpful discounts.