New discount card to bring an 'Array' of drug savings to Connecticut

Soon, every Connecticut resident can sign up for a new drug discount card – thanks to a major health care law that Gov. Ned Lamont signed on Tuesday.

John Craven

Jun 27, 2023, 10:23 PM

Updated 331 days ago

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Want to save 80% off prescription drugs? Soon, every Connecticut resident can sign up for a new drug discount card – thanks to a major health care law that Gov. Ned Lamont signed on Tuesday.
“That is real, serious relief for people who are fed up by the cost of their drugs,” state Comptroller Sean Scanlon said at a bill signing ceremony.
Scanlon said the ArrayRx Discount Card will launch by early autumn. The program is open to everyone, even people with insurance. There are no age or income limits, and the program is absolutely free.
ArrayRx is a partnership with Nevada, Oregon and Washington state. All three states combine their bulk purchasing power to get lower prescription prices.
“THAT’S FANTASTIC”
At Unity Pharmacy in Bridgeport, many customers struggle to pay for drugs that keep getting more expensive.
“Sometimes the insurance doesn't cover it, or they have a high deductible, so their co-pays are outrageous,” said pharmacist Valerie Hardenbergh. “After all that waiting time, if the cost is too much for the patient then they might not even take the medication after all that work that was done for it.”
She said the ArrayRx could fill that coverage gap.
“I think that's fantastic,” she said. “The more options that we have to help our customers and our patients, the better we can to serve them.”
OTHER SAVINGS TOO
The new law could save you money on doctor visits too. Starting next summer, it bans health care networks from charging “facility fees” for routine services. It also prohibits hospitals from imposing “anti-competitive” contracts on insurance carriers, that sometimes “steer” patients to more expensive clinics.
“I know what it’s like to sit with a patient and help her try to figure out what lab tests or medications she can forgo, and which she can afford, even though they’ve all been recommended for her,” said Dr. Deidre Gifford, the executive director of the Office of Health Strategy.
The law was negotiated with Connecticut’s major hospital chains. But in a compromise, Lamont did not get a cap on sometimes massive “out-of-network” fees hospitals can charge.
“Sometimes those procedures – you end up with an incredibly expensive, surprise bill,” he said.
The new law also requires pharmaceutical marketers to register with the state, and puts pharmacy benefit managers – the “middleman” of drug coverage – under a microscope.
On Wednesday, hospitals, insurance carriers and drug makers will all appear before a legislative committee to answer why medical costs keep going up.


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