Recent layoffs mean more Washington residents are without health insurance. The good news is they may qualify for assistance to help cover the costs of necessary prescription medications.
"In today's tough economy, every penny – and pricey pill – counts," Attorney General Rob McKenna said. "If you haven't checked into prescription drug assistance programs, you could be paying too much for your medicine."
Help is literally rolling your way this week if you live in Seattle, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Prosser, Yakima, Everett, Olympia, Longview or Vancouver. McKenna's message coincides with the Partnership for Prescription Assistance's "Help is Here Express" bus tour.
The campaign is sponsored by a consortium of pharmaceutical companies. The bus is equipped with computers, mobile phones and experts who can help consumers find out if they're eligible for any of 500 different programs that offer free or low-cost prescriptions. There's no cost to participate.
"Don't be taken for a ride by programs that promise to lower your drug costs for a fee," McKenna said. "The Help is Here Express and many other resources are free."
The Washington Prescription Drug Program is a free program available to all Washington residents, regardless of age or income, who don't have insurance to cover their prescription drug needs. Members save an average of 60 percent on generic drugs and 20 percent on brand-name medicines. Information is online at www.rx.wa.gov.
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner publishes a list of assistance programs along with useful tips in a brochure titled Paying for Prescription Drugs. The office also has a toll-free number, 1-800-562-6900, to answer questions about health insurance.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance operates a toll-free number at 1-888-4-PPA-NOW and is online at www.pparx.org.
AARP publishes a Drug Smart consumer information packet for seniors, available online.
The Help is Here Express will make the following stops:
Tuesday, June 2
· PROSSER: Valley Vista Medical Group –
, Prosser; 9-11 a.m.
· YAKIMA: Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic –
; 2-4 p.m.
Wednesday, June 3
· EVERETT: Community Health Center of Snohomish County – 112th Street Clinic,
1019 112th Street SW; 10 a.m. - noon
Thursday, June 4
· SEATTLE: Sea Mar Community Health Care – 1040 S. Henderson; 9-11 a.m.
· OLYMPIA: Sea Mar Olympia –
; 2-4 p.m.
Friday, June 5
· LONGVIEW: Cowlitz Family Health Center -
; 9-11 a.m.
· VANCOUVER: Southwest Washington Medical Center -
; 1-3 p.m.