The Health District of Northern Larimer County is expanding the financial eligibility for programs that provide prescription assistance and reduced-cost mental health counseling for people with low incomes and no health insurance. The new financial guidelines are effective immediately.

Local residents with household incomes up to 250 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines ($57,625 for a family of four) now will be eligible for the Health District’s Prescription Assistance program. They also will be eligible for the low-cost counseling service provided by the Connections program. Eligibility for both services previously was limited to individuals earning 200 percent or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

The Prescription Assistance program provides vouchers that residents can redeem at local pharmacies along with a small co-pay. Program staff also help people apply for patient assistance programs through which many drug manufacturers supply certain medications for free or at low cost to qualifying individuals.

The Health District program is open to residents of northern Larimer County and residents of south Larimer County who have a physician with University of Colorado Health. In 2011, it provided more than 18,000 one-month prescriptions to almost 1,500 people.

In the Health District’s 2010 Community Health Survey, 13 percent of Larimer County adults reported being unable to fill a prescription within the previous two years. Among those with low incomes, the figure was 22 percent.

Low-cost counseling is one of several services provided by Connections, a partnership between the Health District and Touchstone Health Partners (formerly Larimer Center for Mental Health) that provides mental health and substance abuse assistance and referrals. The counseling service matches qualifying district residents with participating therapists in the community. Clients pay a co-pay based on a sliding scale.

Nearly a quarter of the Larimer County adults who responded to the 2010 Community Health Survey said they had delayed seeing a mental health-care provider during the previous two years because of cost.

For more information on the Prescription Assistance program, call 970-416-6519 or visit www.healthdistrict.org/rxhelp.

For more information on Connections, call 970-221-5551 or visit www.healthdistrict.org/mentalhealth.

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