State Officials Push Co-Pays For Medi-Cal Patients
Monday, May 28, 2012
Aired 5/28/12 on KPBS News.
State officials are once again pushing the idea of charging people on Medi-Cal co-pays.
California State health officials are once again asking lawmakers to approve co-pays for people on Medi-Cal. Federal officials rejected that idea earlier this year.
The rejected Medi-Cal co-payments included charges of up to $50 for emergency room visits.
The new scaled-back version would ask Medi-Cal patients to pay up to $5 for prescription drugs, and $15 for non-emergency visits to the ER.
Anthony Wright directs the non-profit group Health Access California. He admitted those charges are modest, but they can still have a negative impact.
"Even relatively low cost-sharing has a big impact on low-income families and individuals," Wright said. "Even a relatively modest co-pay discourages people from getting care."
State officials say co-pays are needed to help reduce the budget deficit.