Chester County residents who find gaps in their health insurance or who have signed up for coverage in the Affordable Care Act will be able to augment their care under a county sponsored program.
Jeanne Casner, director of the Chester County Health Department, unveiled the launch of a discount health card at a meeting of the county commissioners in Parkesburg Wednesday.
“This is not health insurance,” Casner told the audience at the meeting, held at Borough Hall as part of the commissioners’ “On the Road” series of sessions outside the county seat of West Chester. “But it is a nice supplement to having health insurance or not having health insurance.”
The discount card allows residents to get vision care and hearing care, along with other services, at reduced costs, Casner said. Participation comes with a small monthly fee.
It will be added to two other discount programs for dental care and prescription drug purchases, already in place, that Casner said had saved residents enrolled in the programs thousands of dollars.
The new discount card is easy to enroll for, and has no age restriction or expense cap, she said.
The program is provided by the National Association of Counties, or NACo, in partnership with CVS Caremark, and includes discounts on prepaid lab work, prepaid diagnostic imaging, and prescriptions.
“Chester County may be ranked as one of the healthiest counties in Pennsylvania, but for many of our citizens, health care costs remain a key concern,” commissioners’ Chairman Ryan Costello said in a press release issued to launch the new program. “Having access to programs that help save on health and medical costs is a great help to county residents.”
Residents benefit from the program by saving on auxiliary healthcare services that are not currently included in the Affordable Care Act. There are no annual limits placed on use, no forms to fill out and no waiting period. The plans starts at $6.95 a month or $69 a year for individuals, and for families it is $8.95 a month or $79 a year.
Vice Chairwoman Kathi Cozzone added in a prepared statement that the previous discount card programs “have been very well received – and used – by Chester County residents. Both programs link our citizens with hundreds of pharmacies and dentists throughout the county who honor the NACo discount cards. I’m sure the Health Discount Card program will be as beneficial in cost savings.”
At the Wednesday meeting, Cozzone added that the discounts do not come at cost to the county taxpayers.