The $580 Prison Health Care Co-pay
Date:  06-01-2018

When people in prison make pennies an hour a $5 co pay can eat up a month's salary
From The Marshal Project:

For those in the outside world accustomed to paying $25 or more at every doctor’s visit, the idea of prisoners paying $2 to $8 to see a doctor seems nominal. Forty-two states plus the federal Bureau of Prisons charge a co-pay, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a criminal justice think tank.

When you’re making pennies an hour, or nothing at all, a small co-pay can be the equivalent of hundreds of dollars.

Illinois lawmakers want to change that in their state. They voted last week to eliminate the $5 co-pay the state’s prisons have been charging for years. “When you’re denied your liberty, medical care is part of the deal. If you need it, you should get it,” said Jennifer Vollen-Katz, executive director of the John Howard Association, a state prison watchdog group that pushed the legislation. In letters and surveys, co-pays consistently emerged as one of prisoners’ biggest concerns, Vollen-Katz said, with more than half saying they avoid health care to avoid the co-pay. Continue reading