Advocacy Group Questions Fee Hike in Stanislaus County
The Western Center on Law & Poverty is questioning the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors' decision to reduce eligibility and increase copayments for its indigent health care program for low-income county residents who are ineligible for Medi-Cal, the Modesto Bee reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Citing a budget deficit, county supervisors approved the change in policy on Sept. 1, 2009.Â Under the new program rules, participants whose copays were as low as $3 could face monthly copays of as much as $574. Higher-income beneficiaries who currently make copays of $45 could see them jump to $1,205 monthly.
The proposed changes will apply to program beneficiaries with monthly incomes of $600 to $1,806. The new copays will take effect when beneficiaries renew their enrollment in the program.
Point of Disagreement
Katie Murphy -- an attorney for the Western Center on Law & Poverty, which has challenged similar cuts to indigent care programs in other counties -- said that the center believes Stanislaus County's policy change is "unlawful" and that attorneys will ask the county to revise their proposed changes.Yesterday, Mary Ann Lee, managing director of Stanislaus County's Health Services Agency, said that the county is complying with a state law that requires counties to provide medical care to low-income, indigent residents (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 1/20). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.