Spartanburg County Jail Considers Medical Co-Pays For Inmates - WSPA.com

Spartanburg County Jail Considers Medical Co-Pays For Inmates

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Courtesy Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office Courtesy Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. -

The Spartanburg County Jail is considering charging inmates $5 co-pays to see the doctor. It's a way to cover rising costs, and save your tax dollars.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office confirms co-pays will be debited automatically from the inmate's commissary account. Those accounts are used to buy items inside the jail.

Jail Administrator Major Neal Urch tells 7 On Your Side the idea helps his budget and takes some of the financial burden off you.

"Anything you can do to defray those costs actually comes back to the taxpayer, whether that money goes back to a county department to help with something, maybe potholes and roads," said Urch.

Urch says the county uses your tax dollars to cover about $2.3 million in jail medical expenses. Urch says requiring a $5 payment will cut down on costly and sometimes unnecessary visits.

"We have sometimes frivolous medical complaints that tie up valuable time when the doctor's here," said Urch.

Urch adds the charge would not be assessed on inmates with a critical need who are referred to the doctor by the in-house nursing staff. Those with non-emergencies can still see the doctor too, but inmate will be debited $5 once money is added to the account.

Spartanburg County Council accepted the plan after first reading. The proposal still has two more readings to go.

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