SECTION 1. Chapter 127 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting, after section 48A, the following section:-
Section 48B. The commissioner and the sheriffs for the various counties may institute a schedule of fees and assess said fees to inmates in their custody as follows:-
A daily cost of custodial care fee not to exceed $5;
A medical sick call visit fee not related to a condition pre-existing at the time of incarceration not to exceed $5;
A dental sick call visit fee not to exceed $5;
A pair of prescription eyeglasses fee not to exceed$5;
A pharmacy prescription fee not to exceed $3 per prescription.
Any penal facility assessing fees shall establish a procedure for inmates to appeal any such assessment.
Notwithstanding the above, the following services shall be exempt from fee assessment: admission health screening, 14 day health assessment, emergency health care, hospitalization or infirmary care, prenatal care, lab and diagnostic care, follow-up visits approved by health services, contagious disease care and chronic disease care.
No inmate shall be denied access to medical or dental care because of an inability to pay any fee. Indigent inmates shall have the above fees and costs assessed and debited against the inmate’s money account which, if not paid, shall remain due and payable as a charge to the inmate after his release from custody. If the inmate is not incarcerated within 2 years of his release from custody, this debt shall be forgiven.
This section shall not apply to federal inmates, detainees or regional lock-up inmates. The commissioner and the sheriffs of the various counties shall promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation of this section.
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