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Inmates' medical bills paid for by taxpayers after getting out of jail, officials say

According to officials, several inmates somehow managed to get their medical bills paid for by taxpayers once they were released from jail.

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 6:41 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 6:46 PM

The Madison County Commission is partnering with a company that aims to keep inmates from committing more crimes once they’ve been released from jail.

According to the commission chairman, dishonest inmates have cost taxpayers money on medical bills they shouldn’t have had to pay for.

WAAY 31 spoke with the commission chairman and a former inmate about the problem.

“I know what it’s like to feel like you don’t have anyone on your side, but the last way to get people back on your side is to take from a program that’s supposed to be caring for those who can’t care for themselves," said Aaron Tew.

Tew is a former inmate but says he’s shocked to hear what other inmates are accused of doing.

“In many cases, we’ve found that we’ve been billed where someone is no longer in the Madison County Jail and the taxpayers in this county are not responsible for it unless they are incarcerated," said Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong.

According to Strong, several inmates have somehow managed to get their medical bills paid for by taxpayers once they’ve been released from jail, which is something many people are disgusted to hear.

“To get out and make your problem someone else’s problem is a moral breakdown of a different kind," Tew said.

That’s why the Madison County Commission is partnering with Millennium Risk Managers to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“They are going through our billing information, working with the sheriff’s department to be sure that when we take an inmate to a medical facility that we’re being billed the appropriate amount, and that that inmate is still incarcerated in the Madison County Jail," Strong said.

While medical care is required for inmates while they are in jail, many people are shocked that anyone would try and take advantage once they’ve been released.

“We want to pay what we’re required by law to pay, but don’t want to pay a penny more," Strong said.

“Inmates are entitled to medical care that is sufficient, that is safe and keeps them out of harm’s way and healthy. I believe that once they are released, they become a part of the population at large and it’s their own responsibility," added Tew.

WAAY 31 has reached out to Millennium Risk Managers for more details on how many inmates took advantage of insurance once released, and what exactly they’re going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but we haven’t heard back from them yet.

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