Medicaid Co-Pays Increase

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The Kentucky Medicaid program will add additional co-payments for services and drugs to help off-set a 675 million dollar Medicaid shortfall.

Medicaid officials discussed the new co-pays at a forum this morning at the Sloan Convention Center. They say the money will save the program an estimated 30 million dollars annually.

The cabinet for health and family services says the Medicaid crisis is largely driven by federal changes, but more flexibility is needed in the program. "I think one of the issues we see every place we go is the program "one size" fits all Medicaid program is no longer working...many of the regulations in the Medicaid program were written in the 1960's.

Dozens of people turned out for the forum and were encouraged to ask questions and offer suggestions about preserving the Medicaid program. ”This does effect me and my friends around here, we are all concerned about the co-pays they have going and because a lot of us are on tight budgets.”

As of July 1 Medicaid members began paying $1.00 for generic drugs, $2.00 for preferred brand drugs, and $3.00 for non-preferred brand drugs.

On July 15 recipients who are not federally mandated to receive their benefits will also pay new fees. $3.00 for generic, $10.00 for preferred brand and $20 for medicine not on the state's preferred list. Starting August 1, most Medicaid recipients will have to pay co-pays for medical treatment like ER visits, office visits, hospital stays and outpatient services.

Co-pays will not apply to pregnant women, people under the age of 19, some minorities and people in long term care facilities.