Prescription Drug Discount Card a Holiday Season Gift for Consumers and Employees; Health Care Cost Alternative for Consumers and Employees

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Health care spending continues to rise at the fastest rate in our history.

The health care crisis really has escalated out of control for consumers, families and even for businesses that are or were providing some type of health care benefits for employees

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Health care spending continues to rise at the fastest rate in our history and according to the National Coalition on Healthcare, experts agree that the health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, inflated prices, poor management, and inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems significantly increase health care costs, health insurance for employers and workers and affect the security of families. Health care and prescription drug discount cards that offer breaks on health care services, such as prescription drugs, hospital, physician, dental, vision and hearing can alleviate these rising costs.

HealthcareOne LLC, has a special Holiday gift for employees and families struggling with health care costs -- they're handing out free national prescription drug discount cards as early Holiday gifts between now and the end of the year. These cards will save individuals and families as much as 70% on brand and generic drugs. Rather than spending millions of dollars on an advertising campaign, founder and president, Michael Ellman figured it might be more cost effective to get his prescription drug discount card directly into the hands of consumers and employees.

The concept of the discount card continues to grow in popularity, with retail giant Wal-Mart and many drug manufacturers offering similar cards in an attempt to help the more than 47 million uninsured Americans afford prescription drugs. Ellman believes that more than 100 million Americans do not have any prescription drug discount plan.

Ellman said he is prepared to give cards to companies and organizations where the only cost to them would be for the plastic used to make the cards -- somewhere between 10 and 20 cents a card. Businesses may download the prescription discount card at no charge from the company's Web site. The offer is available until the end of first-quarter 2007.

"We intend to give away over 1 million Rx Cards," Ellman said. "This is basically to generate trials of our programs with the hope of having consumers and companies use our more comprehensive health care programs."

"We're willing to absorb the costs when it comes to business-to-business of the customer service associated with the card," Ellman said. "If a company is large enough we'll set up a separate Web site and co-brand the site. They can give discount cards as a perk to employees and even to their customers."

Individual consumers can call in for the free prescription drug card pay just a one-time $9.95 processing fee. Eventually, there will be a charge of approximately $8.95 a month, plus the one-time processing fee, which would net the company about $100 per card annually.

Ellman said he got the idea of the giveaway from his days at major advertising agencies working on Procter & Gamble brands, which gave out free product samples as a trial device. The prescription card is accepted at more than 60,000 retail pharmacies nationwide, including major chains such as CVS and Walgreens, through the publicly traded BioScrip pharmacy network.

Ellman said his healthcare discount cards target the 47 million Americans without any type of health insurance plan. He expects to have more 1 million members within three years. He expects to grow the number of customer-service specialists to grow to over 100 in the first quarter of 2007.

"The health care crisis really has escalated out of control for consumers, families and even for businesses that are or were providing some type of health care benefits for employees," Ellman said. "It seems that as days go by, fewer companies want to continue to provide benefits. A lot of people can't afford traditional health insurance. A lot of people can't afford to get the prescription medications they need."

This type of health care and prescription drug discount card can make a real difference for employees and their families. It would make a welcome addition to those bonus packages this holiday season.

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Mike Ellman
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