Free Prescription Drugs

North Carolina's largest health insurance company is providing free generic prescription drugs to about 1 million members.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday that Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans to drop co-payments for generic drugs between Jan. 1 and June 30. The program is to encourage members to switch to cheaper medicines.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield vice president Ron Smith says the company doesn't want people to have to choose between paying for medicine and paying bills.

The company says a similar program in 2006 saved members about $50 million. The company expects members to save about $10 million this time, because there are more limits. The program is not available to groups where Blue Cross only administers coverage, including state and federal workers.

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