State Holds Off on Controversial Co-Pay for Now

The state was taking some heat for a plan to require an income based Medicaid co-pay for families with disabled children.  The plan is now on hold, and families of children with autism and other disabilities will not have a co-pay until further notice.

The Department of Public Welfare is reviewing the plan.  Spokeswoman Donna Morgan says they had preferred the option of a premium, but would need federal approval. They had requested a waiver last year, but had not gotten a final answer. The department will renew its efforts to get a waiver to impose a premium.

Morgan says a premium would be a flat fee and easier for families to budget. She says they have been hearing from advocates and stakeholders that they would prefer a premium instead of a co-pay.

The department will notify families once a decision is reached.

Morgan says the program invests over 700 million dollars a year for over 48 thousand families and the state needs to make it sustainable.