Initiating Medicaid Coverage In Prison 30-Days Prior To Reentry

By Jacqueline Lantsman: For Complete Post, click here…

Individuals at every stage of the criminal legal system are historically estranged from health care systems. This is reflected in disproportionate rates of chronic illness among individuals entering facilities, exacerbated illness during incarceration, the 80 percent of released individuals without health insurance, and the 129-point increase in relative odds of fatal overdose upon reentry given disconnection from community-based care. Improved connection to health care upon release can break the cycle of incarceration and stabilize the lives of individuals returning to open community.

By creating a standardized process of enrolling reentering individuals in Medicaid prior to return to society, policy makers can also facilitate further decarceration, by way of compassionate and geriatric release. In 11 states, eligibility for compassionate release relies on individuals meeting financial requirements. In Alabama, Tennessee, Montana, and Wyoming, correctional systems require proof that individuals can finance their medical care post-release. The state of Alabama required that incarcerated persons be Medicaid or Medicare eligible upon release.

Leave a Reply