Monmouth County is one of only four counties in the entire country to make available a unique Wellness Discount Program to ALL of its residents.

The Program is a package of medical and health services whereby residents receive deep discounts as much 50%. There are no age or income criteria, no maximum amount for benefits and no problem with pre-existing conditions. There are no health restrictions or exclusions, and no paper work. Except for a small fee for the dental component, the Program's various other discount elements are available at absolutely no cost.

The Monmouth County card can actually be used anywhere in the country with participating providers. This means that "snow birds" and college students in other states can receive substantial discounts on prescription drugs (including for pets), eye glasses, hearing aids and diabetic supplies.

To take advantage of these discounts, all a person has to do is present the discount card to the health provider. There is absolutely no charge for the card or to participate in the Program. The program was designed to help everyone reduce high medical costs.

Discounts range from 10% to 50% and major health service providers (including 55,000 pharmacies) across the country are participating in the program and making discounts available to those who have a card.

Covered are:

  • prescription drugs, including pet medications
  • up to 50% for hearing exams and hearing aids
  • up to 30% for vision exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses and lasik eye surgery
  • dental care
  • diabetic supplies

In New Jersey's participating counties, information brochures and discount cards are available through the various county governments, public libraries, and various other distribution points. One card covers all the members in a family.

Monmouth County began offering the program to its residents this past fall. Passaic and Salem counties joined earlier last year. Jersey City also offers the program to its residents. In 2007, Bergen County was the first in the entire country to offer the packaged program to all of its residents.

The Wellness Discount Program package was created by Allan Caan and Bernie Fontana, Program Directors with the Bergen County government.

"No other state or organization in the country offers all these health services discounts in one package," said Caan. "We packaged a number of separate discount program available through United Networks of America."

Fontana said that Bergen County residents save $300,000 a month (more than $3,000,000 a year) for drugs alone. The sponsoring county receives $.50 for each prescription filled. This money is used for community outreach and to print the brochure and discount cards.

In Monmouth County the program is administered by the County Office on Aging, Disabilities and Veterans Interment. Thomas Pivinski, Aging Director, said, "Too many Monmouth County hardworking residents are struggling to pay for medicine and other medical needs. This program helps everyone save money and enjoy a higher quality of life."

Pivinski noted that the program is not medical insurance, but provides for substantial discounts for services that may not be covered under a person's regular insurance or Medicare. In relation to prescriptions, the program helps those with high drug costs as they go through the "doughnut" level.

To receive a card in currently participating counties, residents can call:

  • Monmouth County 732-308-3770 or 732-431-7450/li>
  • Bergen County 201-336-6405
  • Passaic County 973-569-4075
  • Salem County 856-935-7510 Ext. 8471
  • Jersey City 201-547-4900

Freeholders in Essex, Mercer and Hudson counties have approved the program, and cards will be available to their residents in the next month or two.