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Forty States Still Charge Prisoners Co-Pays for Medical Care

Along with friends at FAMM, Pennsylvania Prison Society is asking YOU to call our hotline today to help us urge Governor Wolf to end the medical copay in Pennsylvania prisons permanently.


Use the script below to assist you:

Hi, I’m ____________. I live in Pennsylvania and I’m calling to ask Governor Wolf to end the $5 medical copays in Pennsylvania state prisons. Copays make it harder for people inside prisons to access medical care and put a huge burden on our families. Please get rid of them permanently!

Article/ Report Below:

Observer: Grace Kamin, September 18, 2022

Forty US states charge incarcerated individuals medical co-pays while in prison. These medical co-pays generate little financial benefit for the states, but can be hugely costly for individuals paying them.

At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, all states with co-pays, with the exception of Nevada, took steps to lessen the blow of medical co-pays on prisoners. In many states, co-pays were suspended for respiratory issues, in order to encourage individuals to seek help when suffering from Covid. Other states pushed this further, and suspended co-pays altogether.

As time passed, while some states continued to suspend their Covid co-pay policy, many states returned to charging co-pays, some as early as December 2020, when around 65,000 people had Covid related deaths.

Prisons are providers of healthcare. When someone enters the prison system, they are considered wards of the state, and thus the state is required by law to provide adequate care. This includes yearly check ups as well as any necessary dental, psychological, psychiatric, and emergency care.

To read the full article, click here.

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