“While many have focused on the individual mandate, and the online (and glitchy) insurance exchanges, one of the most potentially impactful elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has flown more or less under the radar. It may be the biggest piece of prison reform the U.S. will see in this generation.
The Justice Department estimates suggest that with the expansion of Medicaid, 5.4 million ex-offenders currently on parole or probation could get the health care they need. (It’s important to note that 25 states plus Washington, D.C. have implemented the Medicaid expansion as of 2014. However, many policy experts expect the remaining states to fall in line, citing the historical example of how CHIP was initially rejected by many states when it rolled out in 1997, but is now utilized in every state in the country.)
Even with coverage, those ex-offenders will still need to actually utilize those health benefits, and the key will be making the connection at the time of release. The biggest challenge will be getting state justice systems and health systems – not exactly happy bedfellows in past years – to work together to create coordinated discharge planning between jails and community healthcare.”
See related article from the George Washington University Milken School of Public Health – Affordable Care Act Brings Crucial Health Coverage to Jail Population available at: http://sphhs.gwu.edu/content/affordable-care-act-brings-crucial-health-coverage-jail-population
See related article from the Fix – Obamacare Rolls Out, Transforming Addiction Coverage available at: http://www.thefix.com/content/obamacare-rolls-out-addiction-coverage-transforms
Source: Newsweek.com – March 10, 2014