What began as a seemingly well-intentioned move on
the part of the Bush Administration has quickly become a national
controversy. In hindsight, many will argue that it was bound to
happen - a government-sponsored prescription discount plan could
only fan the flame of the already smoldering debate over who really
profits from discount cards. The small but forceful opposition claims
that no one but the group selling or distributing the cards really
benefits from them. In fact, they protest, discount cards are great
pretenders - intentionally, if not falsely, presented as insurance.
With all the smoke and mirrors, it's difficult to ascertain fact
from fiction, but, as with most great arguments, the truth probably
lies somewhere in the middle.
A pioneer and innovator in the discount health benefits industry,
CBD has always filled a necessary gap for millions of uninsured,
underinsured and insured Americans. We do not attempt to serve as
a replacement for insurance; rather, we have designed our discount
benefits to offset the ever-increasing cost of health care. Individuals
and families without health insurance can receive significant savings
on everyday health-related expenses, such as eyeglasses and prescription
medications, which might otherwise be unaffordable. Underinsured
individuals - even insured individuals with high deductibles - can
reduce out-of-pocket expenses, as well as receive discounts for
services normally not covered by insurance. Further, in many instances,
discount plans for ancillary health services and products, such
as vision, dental and chiropractic, often make better sense and
can save more money than insured plans with high deductibles, caps,
exclusions, and low reimbursements.
A good example of value is the CBD's pharmacy benefit. This
plan guarantees the lowest possible prescription price on any given
day at a participating local pharmacy. For uninsured individuals, particularly those on a fixed income,
if the savings provided by a discount card can help ease the financial
burdens associated with taking a maintenance medication, then it
has provided a valuable service. Even for those with insurance, they can present both cards at the pharmacy to receive the lowest price available.
As for who really benefits from discount cards, it is
our belief that member testimonials answer more effectively than
we ever could. Of course, in asking this question, the opponents
of discount cards are referring less to who actually benefits from
the discounts, and more to who does or does not profit from the
discount cards themselves. Although, thanks to the Bush Administration,
the spotlight now shines brightly upon our segment of the industry,
we've been providing quality services that work for more than twelve
years and have learned a thing or two along the way. Most importantly,
we've learned that quality provider networks and excellent customer
service create a win-win scenario for all parties involved. And
when the spotlight fades and things return to normal, we'll still
be here doing business in exactly the same way.
While we recognize that much of the confusion regarding health discount
cards has more to do with politics than with discount cards in general,
we believe strongly in addressing the very real issues that have
been raised. As health insurance premiums, deductibles and co-payments
continue to increase at an alarming rate, the number of underinsured
and uninsured Americans also rises. Unfortunately, we cannot reverse
this trend for insurance products; but we can continue to provide
non-insurance options to the growing number of individuals who need
money-saving alternatives now!
Lab Testing is not available to HI, MA, MD, ND, NJ, NY, RI, or SD residents.
Hospital benefit not available to MD, VT or WV residents.
Dental Benefit is not available to VT residents.