Medical Discount Cards
Due to the increasing numbers of advertisements and promotions for prescription drug and healthcare discount programs, it is very important for consumers to understand the benefits, terms, and conditions of these programs.
While some of these medical discount programs may offer savings, consumer should consider the following before joining a plan:
Consumers may be required to pay a monthly fee of $20 to $100 before getting access to any savings.
Discount card programs offer only a reduction in the actual cost of prescriptions or medical services. For example, a card that provides a 20% discount or savings would still require that the consumer pay 80% of the cost of the prescriptions or medical services. This is important since most participating providers require advance payment.
Check with your discount card provider to determine whether they require advance notice of your intent to use their discount in order to honor reduced fees.
Some discount medical/prescription plans offer discounts only on certain drugs. In many cases, purchasing a generic drug may be cheaper than applying the discount to a name brand drug. Therefore, check with your local pharmacist to confirm their participation and compare the discounts offered.
Terminating health insurance and opting into a medical discount card program may prevent or hinder an individual's ability to regain health insurance coverage at a later date. Also, remember that having a pre-existing health condition may make obtaining health insurance in the future difficult and/or expensive.
In general, we do not recommend terminating a comprehensive health insurance policy in exchange for enrolling in a medical/prescription discount card program. It may, however, be beneficial to enroll in a medical/prescription discount card program in addition to a comprehensive health insurance policy.
A few discount medical/prescription plans may use marketing tactics that lead consumers to believe they are purchasing insurance coverage. If you have questions about any discount plan or health insurance plan in which you are thinking of enrolling, or to file a complaint concerning medical or prescription discount cards, call the Office of Insurance Regulation of the Florida Dept. of Financial Services at 1-800-342-2762.
- The Governor of Florida also has a drug discount card available for qualifying Florida residents who do not have drug insurance coverage. More information is available online at: http://www.floridadiscountdrugcard.net/index.aspx.
Do not sign up for any program in which the benefits are not clearly defined.
Do not sign up for a program until you have independently confirmed participating pharmacies and medical providers in your home area.
Always research the company by checking with consumer protection organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, and local and state consumer protection agencies.