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New program to help area needy with costs of medications
prescription bottle

EMC Health Foundation and United Samaritans Foundation have launched Prescription Plus, a program dedicated to helping families of the area – including Ceres, Hughson and Keyes – pay for needed prescription medication.

People are feeling the combined impact of health insurance companies and the coronavirus as they try to survive and purchase needed life-sustaining medications.

Many people are unable to afford medications because of health insurers requiring them to pay higher copays, and an alarming number suddenly laid off or working limited hours because of the coronavirus pandemic. The numbers of people with chronic conditions who cannot afford to fill or refill their medications continue to grow. Also, families facing sickness during the “shelter at home” period may not have the funds available to pay for medication.

Prescription Plus was created to help uninsured and people with health insurance who find it difficult to afford their medication during April.

“Our Valley is facing a health and economic crisis,” said Jeffrey Lewis, president and CEO of EMC Health Foundation. “We are living in a time when people are creative in how they will get through the next few hours, days, weeks and months, and it’s critical that people can afford their regular medications. When relief is essential to the wellbeing of families, waiting for the bureaucracy to catch up will be too long. Our goal is to keep people healthy, out of the hospital and free from fear of not being able to afford their medications. This is a wonderful way to reinvest charitable dollars into our community as we strive to demonstrate a servant’s heart.”

Linda Murphy-Julien, the executive director of the United Samaritans Foundation, said help is available “for those in need, so do not let your health costs override your health needs. This partnership of care is meant to make a difference, so let us help you if we can.” 

The program serves residents who live in the surrounding 19 zip codes and do not qualify for Medi-Cal or Medicare and have an income of less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

The program was created to help people and families in need during April 2020. Documentation about U.S. citizenship is not required. Valid prescriptions (excluding those for narcotics) and proof of income will be requested to provide medication.

Applicants must live in one of the following areas (proof of residency in an eligible zip code is required) in Merced or Stanislaus Counties. Eligible zip codes include 95301, 95303, 95307, 95313, 95315, 95316, 95322, 95324, 95326, 95328, 95334, 95360, 95363, 95374, 95380, 95381, 95382, 95358, and 95388.

To find out if you are eligible for assistance from Prescription Plus, visit the United Samaritans’ website at or call 668-4853 for an application and eligibility assistance. All medications must be filled at Boies Pharmacy at 828 Delbon Ave. in Turlock.






1 $38,280

2 $51,720

3 $65,160

4 $78,600

5 $92,040

6 $105,480

7 $118,920