The state Department of Public Welfare has delayed implementing a controversial plan to force 48,000 families with disabled children to cover the cost of co-pays for a range of services.
Instead the agency said it would pursue federal approval to charge a monthly premium on a sliding scale instead of the per service co-pays.
“The department has always preferred the option of applying a premium to this program and will be working with stakeholders who have come to us in support of a premium as opposed to the co-payment," said DPW Secretary Gary Alexander. "Therefore, we have decided to delay the co-payment initiative, and families will not owe a co-payment for any services until further notice."
The copay plan, which was supposed to start Nov. 1, drew protests from families with children who have intellectual and physical disabilities and need daily services, such as therapy as well as tests and often special diets. They said the copays - ranged from $1 for prescriptions to $100 for therapies - would impose financial hardship on middle and lower income families.