County now offering health and dental discount programs

Illustration from the Montgomery County website.

Silver Spring and Takoma Park residents now can get discounts on a variety of dental and health services through the county’s participation in the National Association of Counties’ Live Healthy program.

The program expands on a free prescription discount program the county has offered in conjunction with NACo since 2004.

Live Healthy is open to anyone regardless of whether they have insurance for a monthly fee of $6.95 a month for either the dental or the health program, or $13.90 per month to enroll in both programs.

Live Healthy can supplement an insurance policy that might not cover certain services, said Mary Anderson, public information officer for the county’s Health and Human Services Department.

“Most health insurance plans don’t cover hearing aids,” she said, offering an example. “You join this health discount program for that $6.95 a month and with that discount program, you can go to one of the participating [hearing] specialists . . . and they in turn give members a discount off services.”

Typical savings in the health discount program range from 15-35 percent, she said, while the dental program offers 15-50 percent discounts off most procedures.

The health discount program also provides 35 percent off the retail price of eyeglass frames with the purchase of a complete pair of glasses, as well as discounts on other products and services, including exams, lenses, accessories, contact lenses and more. Participating providers include LensCrafters®, Pearle Vision®, Target Optical®, and independent optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians. 

“It’s not the same as insurance because you’re not putting in claims and that sort of thing,” Anderson said. “You’re going to pay that discount rate at the time that you get the service.

“If there’s something that your health insurance covers, this program is not likely to give you a better deal than your insurance coverage,” she added. “But there are a variety of plans where you might have good coverage for some things and other things not covered.”

“When NACo started this program, it was something the county wanted to look into,” Anderson continued. “The county has a reputation and a history of making sure that residents have access to needed health care services. While it may not solve everyone’s problems, [this program] can be a help. For us, it was a fairly easy decision once we found out the details of the program.”

There are no annual cost limits on the program, no forms to fill out, no waiting periods, no age or income requirements and no medical condition restrictions. Participants must enroll through NACo by calling toll-free 877-321-2651 for the free prescription discounts, and 877-573-2395 for the health program. NACo also maintains a list of participating providers for reference.

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