(Indiana) – As the health care debate rages on, some programs are already in place to help ease the burden on consumers, including a new prescription payment plan.

According to a St. Mary's pharmacist, the average 30 day prescription for a name brand heartburn medication can run close to $40, and that's with insurance.

Without insurance, it costs $150.

That difference is why a group of pharmacies launched the Indiana drug card.

"With the economy the way it is, it's expensive," insurance holder Bryant Grigsby said.

Grigsby's wife just got out of surgery, so he's filling her prescription. Luckily, this time he won't have to pay for it, but Bryant admits this check-out brings back bad memories.

"It's usually $30 to $50 for anything, or actually more than that," Grigsby said.

Grigsby has some insurance. Think about the tens of thousands of un-insured Hoosiers paying twice that amount, and more.

A new statewide prescription assistance program is slashing prices, making sure these medications are affordable to everyone.

All residents have to do is register for a free Indiana drug card, then using this website, Hoosiers can find the pharmacy where the discount is offered, or compare prices from other pharmacies. This way, they'll get the best savings.

St. Mary's Apothecary Manager Joe Merkel said many of his customers are taking advantage of similar programs like this, but still for those who may not qualify, or find their medication at a good price, he recommended speaking with your doctor.

"There's a wide variety of drugs that can be prescribed for a minimal amount of cost if doctors were willing to maximize patients' medications to fit that list of medications so they'll have to pay as minimal as possible," Merkel said.