States are exploring opportunities to engage justice-involved populations—including juveniles and adults—in Medicaid coverage, case management and healthcare, both immediately prior to and following their release from prison or jail. States’ interests are motivated by the high needs and high related health costs of these individuals—who are often eligible for Medicaid upon release, especially in states that have expanded Medicaid. The health needs of the justice-involved are considerable: An estimated 80 percent of individuals released from prison in the United States each year have a substance use disorder or chronic medical or psychiatric condition, and incarcerated individuals have nine to ten times the rate of hepatitis C and eight to nine times the rate of HIV infection of the general population.
Despite the current prohibition on drawing down federal Medicaid financing to fund healthcare for people while they are incarcerated, there are a number of strategies states can deploy to meaningfully connect justice-involved populations to critical coverage as well as medication and physical and behavioral healthcare services when reentering the community. On June 18, Manatt Health partnered with State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS), a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to present “Emerging Strategies for Connecting Justice-Involved Populations to Medicaid Coverage and Care,” a webinar that provided an overview of the opportunities available for states to connect justice-involved populations to Medicaid coverage and care.
As a follow-up to the webinar, Manatt Health and SHVS produced a white paper compiling key questions and answers from the webinar. The paper offers clarity on the impacts of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act, explains the process of coverage suspension for incarcerated individuals, and offers insight into how states can leverage Medicaid to help with reentry and address social determinants of health.
Click here to access the free paper providing in-depth answers to the essential questions from the webinar.