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Man says he was denied medical care over 50 cents

If you have insurance you probably have a co-pay.

Posted Updated

Chris Nagus
ST. LOUIS, MO. — If you have insurance you probably have a co-pay.

A St. Louis man says he was denied medical care because he didn't have 50 cents to cover a co-pay during a recent visit to an eye specialist.

Jesse Jackson-Harris tells News 4 a tumor led to a severe eye issue requiring medical attention.

Jackson-Harris says he visited a Washington University ophthalmologist in December, but his appointment was abruptly canceled because he didn't have the co-pay on him.

Jackson-Harris asked, "Can you bill me?"

Instead, he says he was directed to "come back when you have the 50 cent copay."

Jackson-Harris receives insurance through MO Healthnet, which is the name for Medicaid in Missouri.

According to a spokesperson with the Missouri Department of Social Services, co-payments for MO Healthnet participants range between 50 cents and $10.

A spokesperson adds, "If a MO Healthnet participant cannot pay when at the time the services are rendered, the provider must still see the MO Healthnet participant."

Jackson-Harris was allowed to reschedule his appointment and made sure to bring 50 cents.

He says he wasn't asked to pay anything the second time around but hopes his situation will raise awareness for others on Medicaid.

Jackson-Harris added "this will bring attention to someone else. How many have been turned away,an inability to have finances to pay a doctor for whatever is going on."

A spokesperson for the Washington University School of Medicine issued the following statement:

Washington University School of Medicine complies with the law. The issue with respect to this patient was brought to our attention by one of our physicians and promptly rectified. We believe we met our obligations to this patient. We can't provide more information without the patient allowing us to speak with you.

If a MOHealthnet participant is denied medical care over a copayment they can file a complaint by calling 1-800-392-2161.

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