By Davis Brister
It's a bitter pill to swallow, but a fact nevertheless. Nearly 15% of Mississippi's population is uninsured.
Dr. Randy easterling is a phyisician in Vicksburg. He says many Mississippians are paying for life preserving drugs out of their own pockets. "These individuals may have to pay 250-300 dollars a month for prescription medications, so this will go a long way to help these individuals."
Easterling joined other healthcare providers Monday in touting a new partnership. It provides the uninsured with a one stop shop of sorts, an internet website and a toll free phone number. Patients can access hundreds of free and discounted drugs.
Dr. Aaron Shirley, of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, says "This will be a godsend for those individuals who are having to choose between eating and taking their medicine as prescribed."
Dr. Shirley is a retired phyisician and head of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, which serves thousands of poor patients each year. He's in favor of the new program because it allows him and other providers to help guide patients through the process. "When they can see somebody in the community that they trust, helping them, assisting them, then they feel more comfortable participating in the program."
Shirley also expects a large number of Medicaid recipients to use the program. July first, the state program will cover fewer prescriptions. "I think it's gonna be reduced from 7 to 5." At a time when mississippi's most vulnerable wonder about their coverage, shirley says this is a much needed shot in the arm.
The partnership consists of pharmaceutical companies, physicians, civic groups, and health care advocates. If you'd like to learn if you qualify visit The Partnership for Prescription Assistance or call 1-888-4ppa-now.
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