Food or life-giving medicine—which would you choose?
United Way believes no one should have to make that choice. That’s why we partner with the FamilyWize drug discount program to help thousands of Jackson County residents save money on their medicines. According to new data from FamilyWize, 2,523 residents saved $403,333 on prescription drugs between 2013 and 2016. The average savings was 47 percent. UWJC President and CEO Ken Toll offers some crucial background on the link between poverty and health:
Our United Way tackles poverty in Jackson County, and the cost of medicines is one common factor that can send struggling families into poverty. People with low incomes often must choose between medicines and food. No one should face that decision. What’s more, those in poverty are twice as likely to suffer from mental illness. Also, because unhealthy food is more affordable, people with low incomes are more likely to eat poorly, increasing their risk for heart disease and diabetes. All of this means health care must be a key part in building a financially stable community. Our collaboration with FamilyWize, and the new insight within their data reports, allow us to target other partnerships and programs that make health care affordable and accessible, especially in the high-need conditions of heart disease, diabetes and mental health therapy.
Fourteen percent of people in Jackson County are considered in “poor to fair” health. More than one in 10 suffer from diabetes or frequent mental distress. There’s a huge demand to make Jackson County healthier—and in doing so, it means more people will be able to achieve financial stability and success.
The FamilyWize program provides discount cards that help people save an average of 40 percent on their prescription medications. The card is free and available to anyone, with no eligibility requirements. The FamilyWize card is accepted at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide and covers all FDA-approved prescription medications. You can pick up a FamilyWize card by stopping at the United Way office, 536 N. Jackson St. in Jackson.