Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, left, explains the CountyFull size photo

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, left, explains the County's new Wellness Discount Program to seniors Aug. 12 at the Hamilton Township Senior Center.

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TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey residents have an ally in the fight against rising healthcare costs. A statewide discount prescription drug card program, called New Jersey Drug Card, is now being sponsored by Mercer County and is free to all residents, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced today.

This program will provide discounts on both brand-name and generic medications, and average savings per purchase are estimated to be around 30 percent. There are no restrictions to membership, no income requirements, no age limit and no applications to fill out. The program is not medical insurance, but provides for substantial discounts for services that may not be covered under a person’s regular insurance or Medicare.

“The New Jersey Drug Card can be used by anyone for many of their medical needs, from prescription drug purchases to eyeglasses and contact lenses to dental care,” said Hughes as he announced the new program alongside Hamilton Mayor John F. Bencivengo at the Hamilton Township Senior Center. “It really is a tremendously valuable card to own. It can end up saving our residents quite a bit on medical costs, whether or not they already have health insurance.”

The New Jersey Drug Card was launched to help the uninsured and underinsured citizens of New Jersey afford their prescription medications. However, the program can also be used by people who have health insurance coverage with no prescription benefits, which is common in many health savings accounts (HSA) and high deductible health plans. Additionally, people who have prescription coverage can use this program for non-formulary or non-covered drugs. The New Jersey Drug Card can also be used by individuals who do not qualify for publicly funded programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

The card can be used anywhere in the country with participating providers. To take advantage of these discounts, all a person has to do is present the discount card to the health provider or pharmacy. Most major pharmacy chains such as CVS, Walgreen’s, K-Mart, Rite-Aid, and Target all accept the card.

There is absolutely no charge for the card or to participate in the program. The program was designed to help everyone reduce high medical costs.

Discounts range from 10 percent to 50 percent and major health service providers, including 55,000 pharmacies, across the country are participating in the program and making discounts available to those who have a card.

Covered are:
  • prescription drugs;
  • hearing exams and hearing aids
  • vision exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses and Lasik eye surgery;
  • dental care;
  • Diabetic supplies; and
  • ProSmile

The New Jersey Drug Card is a solution to the confusing maze of discount programs that have appeared in recent years. Many of these programs only cover certain drugs, charge fees, and some have membership restrictions such as age and income requirements. The New Jersey Drug Card provides the residents of New Jersey with a simple solution. The New Jersey Drug Card has an “open formulary” which means that all drugs are included, has “on-the-fly enrollment”, which means that no eligibility data is required to process a prescription, and everyone is eligible to participate in the program. Furthermore, the New Jersey Drug Card will not share, sell, or distribute personal information for any reason. New Jersey residents can download a free card and search drug pricing and participating pharmacies at http://www.nj.gov/counties/mercer/wellnessdiscount/. One card is required per person.

Because the businesses participating in the program are seeking more business countywide, there is no administrative cost associated with the program aside from printing costs, which can be recouped.

Information brochures and discount cards are also available through County Connection, located in Hamilton Township at Route 33 and Paxson Avenue in the Acme shopping center. Additionally, most Mercer County libraries and senior centers will also carry the cards.

Mercer County receives 50 cents for each prescription filled, money used for community outreach and to print brochures and discount cards. The program is administered by the county Office of Shared Services.

Mercer County is participating in the Shared Service Agreement along with 8 other counties: Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Monmouth, Passaic, Union, Hudson and Salem.