During the first month that Phelps County offered free prescription discount cards to the public, the cards were used or were attempted to be used on a total of 27 prescriptions.

During the first month that Phelps County offered free prescription discount cards to the public, the cards were used or were attempted to be used on a total of 27 prescriptions.

That is according to a report from the National Association of Counties (NACo), which the county partnered with to offer the cards.

County Treasurer Carol Green, who is administering the program for the county, presented the report at Thursday’s county commissioners meeting.

Of that total, 10 of those prescriptions gave cardholders a better price versus what the pharmacy would have sold it for during the month of November. The cardholder pays the discount price or the pharmacy’s retail price, whichever is lower.

The report shows that is a total price savings of $117.65 for county residents last month for all of the prescriptions filled with the cards.

“It’s off to a good start,” Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp said, noting that the cards are “freebies.”

The free discount cards are offered at all of the pharmacies in Phelps County, as well as the Salvation Army, The Community Partnership, the county courthouse and the St. James Caring Center.

Information about the cards also was sent out with property tax bills to residents in Newburg, Doolittle and Edgar Springs.

The prescription discount cards can be used by all county residents — regardless of age, income or existing health coverage —  who do not have insurance or who have prescriptions not covered by insurance.

The discount card is not insurance and cannot be used in conjunction with other insurance.

People who have insurance for prescription drugs may still benefit from the discount card since it may save them money on prescription drugs that are not covered by their existing plans.

There are no enrollment or claim forms, no membership or annual fees to pay and no restrictions or limits on the number of times the card can be used.

The NACo prescription discount card program is administered by CVS Caremark.

County residents who would like more information about the program or businesses and organizations that would like to offer the cards or display information about the program may contact Green at 458-6130.

In other business

In other news out of the Dec. 27 county commission meeting:

• Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp said as of now, the county should predict no changes in salaries in next year’s budget. County Clerk Carol Bennett noted that another budget impact could be the special election to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson. Bennett said that such an election, if it is not held during the April municipal elections, is estimated to cost Phelps County between $50,000 and $60,000. Gov. Jay Nixon has still not set a date for the election to replace Emerson.

• Commissioners approved a bid from Schriefer’s Office Equipment, of Jefferson City, in the amount of $3,145 for new shelves to be used for records at the sheriff’s department. That amount includes installation.

• Commissioners also appointed Ellis Hawkins and Jeff Medows to the Meramec Regional Planning Commission.

• As of Dec. 28, only one person has filed for the Phelps County Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees and two have filed for the Phelps County Emergency Services Board (PCESB). Incumbent Dr. John Park has filed for the hospital board seat. Only one seat on the hospital board is up for election in April. Randy Barr and Timothy A. Byrne have each filed for one of the four seats open on the PCESB. Filing for both boards will continue until 5 p.m. Jan. 15, 2013. Interested candidates can file at the county clerk’s office.

• Verkamp thanked outgoing District Two Commissioner Charles “Bud” Dean for his service, calling Dean a “world-class and wonderful commissioner.” Dean replied, “I thank each and every one of you. We have a good group of officeholders and employees here. The county residents are served well by the people in this courthouse.”