Medicaid Access Expanded for Released Prisoners in Five States

United States: Five states have committed that those formerly incarcerated will be able to get Medicaid upon their release, the HHS said on Tuesday.

States Leading the Initiative

Reports show that most of the adults and the youth experience delays in receiving coverage from Medicaid or getting it at all; hence, the department made a statement that anybody coming out of imprisonment will get the coverage before getting out of jail, as reported by The Hills.

The coverage includes Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont.

The department’s release said that four states, including California, Massachusetts, Montana, and Washington, had already been cleared for the change.

Advancing Health Equity

‘This is a key next step in promoting health equity across our country’, thus, the HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra noted. For individuals experiencing criminal justice involvement to reintegrate back into society entails having the health care needs and resources desired.

The new opportunity enables a state to fund services that are not funded by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Programs. It can be initiated as early as 90 days before their anticipated parole or release from jail.

The coverage encompasses treatment of substance use disorder. The department stated that those who are incarcerated are more likely to have substance use disorders, chronic illnesses, and other factors that are likely to endanger the public.

CMS noted that it is still actively engaged with other jurisdictions on re-entry, including 14 other states and the District of Columbia, as reported by The Hills.

“This is an essential step for advancing health equity in our nation,” Vikki Wachino, the executive director of the Health and Reentry Project, said. “Evidence suggests that access to health care during the critical reentry period can improve health, save lives, reduce recidivism rates, and contribute to public safety.”

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