Co-pay option wise for West Virginia
When something is free, we tend to take more of it than if a price tag is attached. That is one reason most health insurance policies include “co-pays” requiring that clients cover portions of their bills, usually modest, out of their own pockets. That helps hold down the cost of coverage.
But many government entitlement programs have no such provisions. Here in West Virginia, Medicaid falls into that category.
The approximately 350,000 Mountain State residents who receive Medicaid assistance, courtesy of taxpayers, pay nothing out of pocket for health care services covered by the program. They are required to make co-pays of no more than $3 for prescription drugs, however.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has announced the state will add about 91,500 people to the Medicaid rolls, complying with a mandate under the new national health care law.
At the same time, the Tomblin administration plans to require some Medicaid recipients to cover very modest co-pays for some health care treatment. Co-pays will be set according to income; Medicaid recipients without income will be exempted from co-pays.
Just 11 states, including ours, provide Medicaid without some co-pay requirement. Changing that here will do at least something to control Medicaid spending – and that is something taxpayers simply must do.