At this year's Ohio State Fair, staff at the Department of Aging's booth in the marketplace building asked fairgoers to "show us your Golden Buckeye Card." About one in three dug through their wallets and proudly produced their cards. Another third shared that they never received one and the remainder admitted that they have the card but didn't carry it with them because they didn't think it was very valuable. Well, folks, the Golden Buckeye program is alive and well, and all Ohioans age 60 or older, as well as adults age 18 to 59 with disabilities, are eligible. So find your card, get a replacement if you need to, and start using it.
Most Ohio residents with a valid driver's license automatically receive their card in the mail within a few weeks of their 60th birthday, but not everyone recognizes it. For more than five years, the Golden Buckeye card has partnered with the Ohio's Best Rx prescription drug discount program. All Golden Buckeye cardholders are automatically enrolled in Ohio's Best Rx and the card is two-sided: Golden Buckeye on one side, Ohio's Best Rx on the other, so you may have gotten it, but didn't recognize it. If your card has been lost, damaged or accidentally thrown away, call 1-866-301-6446 to request a replacement. If you do not have a current license or state ID, or are under age 60 but eligible due to disability, you may apply for a card at most public libraries and senior centers. Due to verification requirements, you cannot apply for a Golden Buckeye card online or by phone.
Each month, nearly 15,000 Ohioans turn 60 and become eligible for the Golden Buckeye card, which entitles you to discounts and savings on purchases at participating Ohio businesses. These are compelling statistics for businesses, and we have a constant stream of new and established businesses who want to honor the card. More than 20,000 Ohio businesses honor the card and represent a range of industries from auto care and rental, beauty supplies, dining, entertainment, flowers and gifts to home goods and maintenance, insurance, lodging, travel, photo finishing, taxis and vision services. Cardholders have saved an estimated $2.5 billion since 1976. Savings will vary from 2 to 50 percent but typically are 10 percent. Golden Buckeye cardholders also can receive 10 percent off:
- Appliance repair at a shop in Hamilton;
- Dry cleaning at a store in Mansfield;
- Backyard ponds and waterfalls at a merchant in Columbus;
- Cooking equipment at a store in Dayton;
- Roofing from a Cincinnati company; and
- Sewing machines and vacuum cleaners from a store in Youngstown.
Perhaps one of the most popular benefits is offered by the Ohio State Parks. Use your Golden Buckeye card when reserving a camping spot or cabin and you could save up to 50 percent! Also, if you do not have prescription drug coverage, flip your Golden Buckeye Card over for valuable savings. This year alone, Golden Buckeye cardholders filled more than 125,000 prescriptions with an average savings per prescription of more than 42 percent.
You can go online to find businesses in your area that accept the Golden Buckeye card. Also, look for the Golden Buckeye logo on doors, windows and cash registers of businesses. If you don't see the logo, ask the business if they offer a senior discount. If they don't, encourage them to consider becoming a Golden Buckeye business.
Finally, we want to settle a debate. Some people at the State Fair asked when the age for the Golden Buckeye card changed from 55 to 60. The minimum age of eligibility for a Golden Buckeye card has been 60 since 1985. Prior to that (from the program's launch in 1976), the minimum age was 65. It has never been 55. Sorry about that. If you're in that range, you only have a few more years to wait, but it will be worth it.
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