After the free prescription discount card program got “off to a good start” in November according to one Phelps County commissioner, usage of the cards dropped in December.

According to a report from the National Association of Counties (NACo), which the county partnered with for the program, the cards were used or attempted to be used on a total of 11 prescriptions last month and of that total, four of those prescriptions gave cardholders a better price versus what the pharmacy would have sold them for during December.

County commissioners received a copy of the report at their meeting Thursday.

In November, the cards were used or cardholders tried to use them on 23 prescriptions, with nine of those giving cardholders a better price.

The report shows a total price savings of $168.12 for county residents over the last two months for all of the prescriptions filled with the cards. The average price savings per prescription in November was $5.02 and in December, the average price savings was $4.78.

The free discount cards are available 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.

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.

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 County Treasurer Carol Green at 458-6130.

In other business

Also at Thursday’s meeting, County Assessor Bill Wiggins announced that the county will appeal a decision to the Missouri State Tax Commission after a senior hearing officer ruled in favor of St. John’s Health Systems, Inc. that certain personal property assessed by Phelps County in 2010 and 2011 at the Rolla Mercy Clinic is tax exempt.

The commission approved a floodplain development permit request from the City of Rolla to expand the wastewater treatment facility at 1801 Highway 72 south of Rolla. The new structures, which include a secondary clarifier and ultraviolet disinfection process equipment, will be built more than one foot above the 100-year flood elevation and will not be located in the floodway, according to Archer-Elgin Engineering, Surveying and Architecture. Dale Schmutzler, floodplain management officer with SEMA, also concurred.

The commission also received a copy of the real estate option signed by the Myers family in regards to vacating a section of County Road 7530 and the Grotto Bridge. County Clerk Carol Bennett said she was unsure if County Counselor John Beger had reviewed it yet.

The commission also met in closed session to discuss real estate.