Aug 10, 2011

Co-Pays for Medicaid Considered

Veritas New Mexico - Imposing new patient fees is “just one idea” being considered by the Governor’s Medicaid overhaul team, New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) spokesman Matt Kennicott said Monday. Possible new fees include “co-pays” for some emergency room visits, sparking concern among tribal representatives who met August 8 with HSD officials. Patient fees would create new barriers to American Indians’ access to health care, they fear — and run counter to government treaty obligations to provide health care to tribal members. “Due to the lack of available medical care, American Indians shouldn’t be penalized for using emergency room services,” said Paul Pino, of the Pueblo of Laguna’s health committee. “This is just one idea that we are considering as we work towards Medicaid Modernization and building a program that we can sustain now and into the future,” Kennicott said in an e-mail to Veritas New Mexico. Medicaid provides health insurance for people with low incomes and disabilities, and their children. The federal government covers 75 percent of the program’s costs. Read full story here: News New Mexico

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