Medical Co-Pays More Than Double For Illinois Prison Inmates

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Inmates in the Illinois Department of Corrections system are contributing more to help pay down the state’s backlog of bills.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports, with the new year, the inmates are now paying a $5 co-pay for non-emergency medical and dental services. That is up from $2, a level established in 2004.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports

State Rep. Emily McAsey (D-Lockport), who sponsored the measure, says most law-abiding citizens pay more than $5 per co-pay.

“Convicted felons are folks who have broken our laws,” McAsey said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have a reasonable co-pay for non-emergency medical services. I don’t think that they should be rewarded with free medical care.”

McAsey says inmates have accounts, where they can get money from outside sources or deposit money they earn through low-wage jobs in prison. She estimates the state will earn an extra $336,000 a year from the increase.

“We’re going to see an effect and a cost saving to the overall bottom line for the Illinois Department of Corrections related to medical costs,” she said. “Those inmates are making contributions.”

  • Afro

    Oh these are the Citizens Obama was talking about getting the same health care as he.

    Kinda makes ya wonder who the ones in prison really are doesn’t it?.


  • Darneisha Washington

    I can count the lawsuits; he/she caught this airborne disease from a fellow inmate who lacked the funds to see the doctor. He/she had a respiratory disease and my son/daughter died because of that. I want 10million. And you know, like I know, Leroy Goldberg first cousin will take the case for the 33% commission. Bet Afro!

  • McHenry County Blog | Upping Inmate Co-Pays Will Bring Unintended Consequences, Unforeseen Potential Savings

    […] bill would increase the inmate co-pay for non-emergency medical visits from $2 go $5 a […]

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