Residents of Old Lyme who don't currently have prescription coverage from their own insurance may soon be getting it from the town.
The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen is considering offering prescription discount cards to all residents through ProAct Inc., a pharmacy benefit management company based in New York State.
The program is being promoted by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), which is offering it to all its members. A number of Connecticut towns, including Durham, Old Saybrook, Enfield, and Coventry, have already taken CCM up on the offer.
The cards, which are available in print and electronic form, would be issued by Old Lyme and printed with the town emblem at no cost to either the town or its residents. According to the company, the pharmacies absorb the costs because they benefit by increasing their customer base and by generating repeat business.
According to the company's website, the cards offer an average savings of 32 percent off prescriptions. The savings being touted by CCM put that number even higher at 45 percent. The discounts are negotiated directly with the pharmacies.
The cards are currently accepted by more than 56,000 pharmacies nationwide, including national chains and independently-owned pharmacies, the company says.
The cards would be made available to anyone who doesn't have prescription coverage or who has prescriptions that are not covered by their current insurance. Pet prescriptions that have dual uses for humans are also covered. Additionally, the cards offer discounts on vision, Lasik, and hearing prescriptions.
ProAct provides all the marketing materials, including posters and mailings to every resident to let people know that the cards are available. The company runs the program so it costs the town nothing to administer it.
"It seems to be a really great opportunity for folks to get discounts," said Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal. "I did call ProAct and the people I spoke to were very informative. Your individual pharmacy may not accept it but you can get to the website to find one [that does]."
Operating on the assumption that there's really no such thing as a free lunch, however, Selectman Skip Sibley suggested that the board wait until next meeting to decide so they have a little more time to investigate. Accordingly, the board will wait until its next meeting in two weeks to vote on the issue.
At this point, however, the board seems pretty enthusiastic about the idea.
"There is no cost to the town for this. They provide discount prescription cards for residents," said First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder. "It seems to me this is a win-win situation."
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