- During National Re-Entry Week, CMS issued guidance in a Q&A format Thursday on how to ensure eligible former prison inmates receive Medicaid benefits if their status has been changed to "home confinement, parole, probation, or full-term release."
- The clatifications could help extend Medicaid coverage to up to 96,000 individuals living in community halfway houses in Medicaid expansion states, according to an HHS release.
- HHS also issued a report that details the importance of providing coverage to people involved in criminal justice.
A 2015 study published in The Milibank Quarterly, a population health and health policy journal, found that people who live in states that have a large number of former inmates had "diminished access to care, less access to specialists, less trust in physicians, and less satisfaction with the care they receive."
HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Richard Frank, said in a prepared statement, “As we celebrate National Re-Entry Week, it is important to understand the critical role access to healthcare plays in successful returns to the community for so many Americans trying to change their lives.”
“Today’s actions will immediately begin to give as many as 96,000 of American’s most vulnerable citizens access to needed healthcare through Medicaid, including mental health and substance use disorder treatment, reducing the risk they will be re-incarcerated or hurt,” Frank added.
CMS' report includes answers to several different questions, including whether fee-for-service is available if an individual is on home confinement and who is an inmate of a public institution.