Discount prescription cards: worth it?

With health insurers and employers making changes as a result of Obamacare, many of us are receiving letters in the mail about changes in health coverage.

So if you find a new health discount card you may think its part of the program.

But we have an important warning before you sign your name.

Unsolicited cards in mail

Christine Ross recently opened up her mailbox to find two discount pharmacy card from the "National Prescription Discount Network."

"All of a sudden I get what looks like prescription cards," Ross said. "And it says you've been pre approved."

They claimed they could save her up to 75 percent on prescriptions at Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid and other pharmacies.

She wondered if it was part of the Affordable Care Act.

"It starts talking about all the things the new health care is supposed to do for people.  And I said, 'Well that sounds very nice,' but something felt fishy about it," she said.

The Los Angeles Times recently investigated the card and said it is legitimate.

The card's parent company, Script Relief,  is a marketing firm with a "C plus" rating from the BBB.

Script relief explains in its promotional materials it is paid by drug companies when its cards are used.

What should you do?

So should you join? Maybe. The website Consumerworld.org recently tested a half discount drug cards, including ones from Costco and AA.

It says discounts vary, but the average savings was just 16 percent off list price, not 75 percent.

Meantime, the LA times cautions that with all these cards, you are sharing personal information ....something that is giving Christine Ross some pause.

"I'm real worried about privacy, and too much information out there," she said.

My advice:  If you are confused by any health card or letter you receive in the mail, call your insurance company or check with Medicare.

That will help you decide if it is a case of don't waste your money.

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