Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Governor's Office, 9th Floor
This is the first week that Medicare-eligible citizens can begin signing up for Medicare-approved prescription drug discount cards, and it has proven to be a challenge, to say the least. Thousands of Arizona residents are sorting through dozens of Medicare-approved discount cards, which carry a dizzying variety of enrollment fees, limits on coverage, restrictions on enrollment qualifications, and varying ranges of actual discounts.
Whether you are a Medicare-eligible Arizonan evaluating these cards, or a caregiver trying to help a parent or loved one make sense of them, I want you to remember the Copper Card.
When I created this card last year, I wanted seniors to have a card that was easy to use and that produced substantial discounts.
The Copper Card is free:
It's free of charge. Anyone 65 or older, or disabled, qualifies to receive a free Copper Card. Period. Just call (888) 227-8315.
It's free of restrictions. It applies to all prescription drug purchases.
It's free of hassles. Just present it to any one of 500 pharmacies throughout Arizona to receive a discount on your prescription purchase. Generally, Copper Card discounts range from 15 to 55 percent.
And it's free of expiration dates - This benefit does not expire in 2006. It will continue to provide discounts after Medicare discount cards expire in 2006.
In addition, low-income seniors also qualify for the free Copper Plus Card. Individuals earning less than $18,000 per year, or households earning less than $24,000 per year qualify for the Copper Plus Card, in which they can purchase any Lilly brand pharmaceutical for $12 per month for each prescription. I want to thank Lilly for offering low-income seniors such deep discounts on their products.
To help you evaluate the Copper Card and Medicare-approved cards that are usable in Arizona, go to my website at www.governor.state.az.us. There you will find a brief summary of Copper Card benefits, a comparison of the Copper Card's amenities with 17 of the Medicare-approved cards being offered to Arizona residents, and links to useful resources.
If these web pages look sparse it's because they are, by design.
I don't want to bog seniors down with another complex web site on discount cards. I believe simplicity is the best friend you have in evaluating discount cards.
I urge every Arizonan without an insurance plan that includes prescription drugs to keep a free Arizona Copper Card in their wallets and purses. You have nothing to lose and substantial discounts to gain with your Copper Card.
When you purchase prescription drugs, just hand the pharmacist your Copper Card and any other discount card you have, Medicare-approved or otherwise. The pharmacist will tell you which card produces the bigger discount at the time of purchase. Use whichever card saves you the most.
Since we created a state prescription drug discount service, nearly 37,000 cards have been issued, and they have generated more than 2 point 6 million dollars in savings for Arizona seniors. The average savings per prescription is around $12.
The Copper Card is working, and it makes a simple, free companion to whatever other discount card seniors may choose.
Again, to get a free Copper Card, simply call RxAmerica, which administers the card, (888) 227-8315. I am happy to announce that RxAmerica has fortified its Utah call center with additional trained employees to handle the increased volume of calls.