New Guidance Aims to Extend Medicaid to More Transitioning Criminals

A guidance released Thursday extends Medicaid coverage to people living in halfway houses, which would give insurance to nearly 100,000 people in the next year.

The rule also clarifies that individuals who are on probation, on parole or in home confinement are not considered inmates of a public institution, and are therefore eligible for Medicaid coverage.

The Department of Health and Human Services says that the majority of justice-related individuals have historically been uninsured and have mental health issues or struggle with substance abuse. Access to Medicaid can be particularly helpful to them, HHS says.

“As we celebrate National Re-Entry Week, it is important to understand the critical role access to health care plays in successful returns to the community for so many Americans trying to change their lives,” Richard Frank, assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at HHS said in a statement. “Today’s actions will immediately begin to give as many as 96,000 of American’s most vulnerable citizens access to needed health care through Medicaid, including mental health and substance use disorder treatment, reducing the risk they will be re-incarcerated or hurt.”

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