We received this important MHANJ Legislative Alert from our friend Bob Kley.
Medicaid Co-Pays Battle Goes Down to the Wire
The fight to remove proposed Medicaid co-pays for prescription drugs and emergency room visits is entering its final days as the state budget moves towards its June 30th deadline. Under Governor Corzine’s proposed Fiscal Year 2009 state budget, Medicaid patients would be required to pay $2 co-pay per prescription up to $10 per month, and a $6 co-pay for each emergency room visit and a $3 per visit (capped at $12 per month) co-pay for outpatient care. A strong push by mental health and human service advocates is critical in defeating Medicaid co-payments!
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey held a State House press conference on Monday June 2nd with the leadership of the Coalition for a Moral Budget, and the ARC of New Jersey. Key issues raised with the media include:
A study conducted by the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education (APIRE) found that in some states, up to 27% of psychiatric Medicaid patients reported that co-pays presented a significant barrier to obtaining clinically-indicated medicine. Patients having difficulty in accessing medication because of co-pays are eight times more likely to face an adverse event such as a psychiatric hospitalization.
Mental health consumers living in boarding homes-paying $10 a month in co-payments represents %20 of the total disposable income of their $50 a month personal needs allowance. Read personal testimony.
“At a time when the cost of food, shelter and life’s necessities are dramatically increasing, co-payments for critical prescribed medications could very well be the tipping point for consumers”, Carolyn Beauchamp, MHANJ, stated.
Read the full text of the press release. Please forward this alert to your fellow advocates, family and friends. We must defeat co-pays!
Take Action NOW!
Send your message of opposition to all Medicaid Co-Pays to the Legislative Budget Committees, your Senator and Assemblypersons, and Governor Corzine by using the Voter Voice e-mail system. This will insure your voice is heard in Trenton today.