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Cards may help cut medical costs
County OKs program for all residents to participate
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Liberty County residents can now sign up for discounts on prescriptions and some other medical expenses after a commission vote Tuesday.

Commissioners previously heard about Coast2Coast during their May 17 meeting. They had asked if Randy Hartmann, membership services director for the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, could attend this month’s meeting and further explain the benefits of participating.

According to Hartmann, the program provides residents free prescription discount cards that can be used in more than 59,000 pharmacies around the country, not limiting its use to Liberty County. The card also provides medical discounts for dental, vision, hearing, laboratory and imaging services. He said there’s also a discount for veterinary services at participating vets’ offices.

“In the end, it’s all based on volume,” Hartmann said, as he explained the royalty the county could receive when residents use the card. “It’s a lot like membership in Sam’s Club or Cosco. (The program) is designed especially for the uninsured and the under-insured.”

Commissioner Pat Bowen asked if the card can be used by someone who has insurance. Hartmann explained Coast2Coast is not a health insurance program but a prescription discount card that can be used with health insurance, particularly for those with high deductibles. He concluded by saying it takes about six weeks for the program to be implemented in a community.

You can already go to on the web to print out cards.

Although the presentation was originally an information item, the board agreed to take action on it.

Another information item that became an action item was a presentation by Jason Childers for the summer food program. Childers told the board the county received only one bid for the program at $2.82 per meal. He said last year the county averaged serving 900 meals per day. The cost to provide meals at 18 sites for 39 days for this year’s program is estimated at $98,982, which he said should be covered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Commissioner and vice-chairman Marion Stevens Sr. asked if there was a provision to open a new site if an organization volunteered, and Commissioner Eddie Walden suggested the county consider looking for indoor sites for next year’s program.

Childers said the sheltered outdoor sites were each located near a play area where children were likely to gather anyway during the summer. A new site could be added, he said, but the county would have to pick up the cost until it was approved, saying it might take time to be reimbursed.

The board approved the county’s participation in the program with a suggestion by Commissioner Gary Gilliard that Childers return before the board next month with an update.

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