Administration Gives Modest Push to Efforts to Provide Access to Health Care to Former Prisoners

According to a Kaiser Health Network report, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that low-income residents of halfway houses can be enrolled in Medicaid (Badger Care in Wisconsin). Regulations continue to prohibit the enrollment of prison and jail inmates.

Federal and state prisons release more than 600,000 people a year.  A study in Health Affairs found prisons and jails enrolled only 112,5000 emerging inmates between 2013 to January 2015.  The researchers identify four practices that increase rates of enrollment.

Access to health care services can be an important factor in determining whether or not a newly released prisoner’s attempts to navigate life in the community are successful.  Many of them struggle with serious health issues, such as mental illness, drug abuse, diabetes, and HIV and hepatitis C infections.  Without adequate care, they often end up back in prison at great cost to themselves, their families, and society.







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