Starke County Jail inmates who receive routine medical care while incarcerated now have to pay $15 per doctor visit. The county commissioners Monday unanimously adopted an ordinance to that effect. It does not apply to inmates who self pay for treatment or have insurance. The copays are for medical, dental, eye and other types of services.
Money collected will be deposited in a newly-established County Medical Care for Inmates Fund and can only be used to provide medical services to inmates at the jail. The county contracts with a medical vendor for inmate healthcare. A representative for that company stresses no inmate will be denied care due to an inability to pay. However, funds deposited in that inmates commissary account within 60 days can be taken to cover the cost of the medical service. Care will always be provided in emergency situations, when necessary as a result of an injury received in the county jail or at the request of the sheriff or jail administrator. Officials with the sheriff’s department hope the policy will cut down on the number of nuisance doctor and nurse visits by inmates without medical conditions who are looking for excuses to get out of their cells. Click here Starke County Sheriff’s Inmate Medical Fund to read a copy of the ordinance.