By Amber Kilawee, Executive Director of United Way of Fon du Lac Area, Wisconsin
I’ve been with United Way in Wisconsin for a long time: I started as an intern in college and once I graduated, started working there as an office assistant. I worked up through the ranks until my predecessor retired, and I’ve been Executive Director for more than five years now.
And I’ve known about the FamilyWize card for a long time: I first heard about the prescription savings card when I started in 2007. My boss at the time said, “Hey, we should probably jump on board with this.” So I took that on as my baby. I started using it myself because I thought if I'm going to be talking to people about it, I need to know more. I used to have sinus infections due to allergies, and I was on antibiotics a couple different times and saved money with the FamilyWize card.
More recently, I was prescribed a toothpaste for gum recession and sensitivity, which my insurance didn’t cover. It cost $60 out-of-pocket, but with the card, I paid only $19. I show off my receipt with the savings—I just get super excited about it!
Over the years, I’ve presented to a number of other United Ways about FamilyWize, and I think it's really nice to be able to say, “I promise you that it's easy because I've used it, and I've saved this much.”
We’ve heard a number of success stories from our local senior center. A lot of older people are not always able to take meds as prescribed, and while the Medicare “donut hole” coverage gap is not as much of an issue anymore, we still have people calling in saying their prescription drugs aren’t covered for a certain period of time. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have given cards to people who work in human resources in case anybody loses benefits from going down to part-time employment.
For anyone thinking about using the FamilyWize card, when they say no gimmicks and no strings attached, it’s 100% percent. Use it—it's there for all of us to be able to maximize our income. Some people may not think saving $40 is a lot, but I can fill up my car’s gas tank and get my kids a snack. It makes a difference.
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