Familywize card saves residents $2 million
by Special to the Banner
Apr 07, 2013 | 835 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This month began as a historic one for the partnership between United Way of Bradley County and the Familywize prescription discount card program. On Monday, April 1, savings to area residents through this partnership exceeded the $2 million mark.

United Way of Bradley County joined the FamilyWize prescription discount card program in January 2007, and since that time, there have been over 26,000 community members have been helped by using the card at local participating pharmacies.

As of Friday morning, savings to those using the card in Bradley County total $2,004,844.46.

“Over $2 million in savings seen in this community is something to be proud of, and we are so pleased that this has been made possible through the collaboration between Familywize and our United Way,” said United Way of Bradley County president and CEO Matt Ryerson.

The FamilyWize program began in 2005, when Dan and Susan Barnes decided to give a supply of free prescription drug discount cards to the Family Centers in the local schools in Bethlehem, Pa. The Family Centers there involved the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, and almost immediately, the Barnes were asked to provide this free assistance to other communities. As a result, they established the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership in the fall of 2005.

United Way of Bradley County joined the program just over six years ago, with 4,000 cards to distribute to the community. Since then, more cards have been ordered and distributed, and the card is also posted on the United Way of Bradley County’s website and the FamilyWize website.

The prescription discount card is for those who do not have health insurance, or must buy medicine not covered by their insurance plan. The program is free-of-charge to anyone who needs it, and there are no age restrictions, no limit on how many times it can be used and no waiting to get a card.

“No one should be forced to choose between paying for food, rent or medicine because of the high cost of prescriptions. That’s why we’ve partnered with FamilyWize to distribute these free prescription discount cards to everyone in Bradley County,” said Ryerson.

He added the program could not be successful without “the support of the many pharmacies in our community that participate in the program.” According to Familywize, 34 pharmacies or healthcare providers in Bradley County participate in the program. Not all local pharmacies participate, so you will need to ask the pharmacist if they do accept the Familywize card.

As part of its mission statement, United Way works with others to form collaborative efforts to help the community.

“Our mission statement is to lead in the effort in identifying community needs, facilitating collaboration, and maximizing resources to positively impact our community,” Ryerson said. “Here, we see United Way collaborating with Familywize to meet a need identified in our Community Needs Assessment – affordable healthcare – and using those resources to impact individuals and families seeking assistance.”

“Healthcare costs are one of the top concerns for people in the community, and these discount cards help individuals and families who otherwise might not be able to afford the medicine they need,” he said.

To print off the Familywize prescription discount card, go to the United Way website at www.unitedwaybc.com or the Familywize website at www.Familywize.org.