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A doctor, foreground, and a nurse in a clinic in another city, demonstrate a telemedicine program. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

With health care reforms taking root, employers increasingly are turning to medical discount cards as a way to boost benefits and employee spirits without hurting their bottom lines.

Conceived in Florida roughly three decades ago, discount cards at first were marketed as a way to help Medicare beneficiaries cover the cost of prescription drugs. The business for a time was one of the dark corners of the benefits world–unregulated and filled with shady operators.

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