More prisons helping inmates enroll in Medicaid at release - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

More prisons helping inmates enroll in Medicaid at release

Updated: Jan 17, 2014 09:59 AM

FRIDAY, Jan. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Some prison systems are enrolling prisoners in Medicaid to lower costs and help inmates have health care when they're released, a new study finds.

The findings come as some states expand the number of low-income people who are eligible for medical coverage through Medicaid.

"We know that an increasing number of prison systems -- although far from all -- are helping prisoners enroll in Medicaid in preparation for their return to the community," Dr. Josiah Rich, director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, based at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., said in a hospital news release.

"Enrollment improves access to basic health services, including substance-use and mental-health services, and can in turn benefit the health of the communities and families to which prisoners return," Rich said. "There is a possibility that there will be decreased recidivism as people get treatment for their mental illness and addiction."

The researchers came to their conclusions after talking to state prison officials from the end of 2011 through mid-2012.

Officials from 42 prison systems responded to the survey. Two-thirds said they eliminated Medicaid coverage for prisoners when they went behind bars, and 21 percent suspended coverage. Of these systems, however, more than two-thirds helped prisoners get back on Medicaid upon their release, the survey found.

More than one-third of the state prison systems check into whether prisoners are eligible for Medicaid when they need treatment behind bars.

Things have changed since 2000, when almost all states cut off Medicaid when prisoners were incarcerated.

"The difficult reality is that terminating Medicaid during incarceration, which is what is occurring in the majority of prison systems today, can be harmful to this population, as well as costly to the general public," Rich said. "Instead, we should be moving toward using this period of incarceration as an opportunity to reduce expensive post-incarceration emergency-room and inpatient hospital care."

The study appeared online Jan. 16 in the American Journal of Public Health.

More information

For more on Medicaid, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • 2 boaters found dead in Lake Erie; 2 more missing

    2 boaters found dead in Lake Erie; 2 more missing

    Thursday, April 17 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 19:49:32 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say the bodies of two of four missing boaters in western Lake Erie have been recovered off the Ohio shoreline. Officials say they recovered the bodies of two females Thursday.More >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say the bodies of two of four missing boaters in western Lake Erie have been recovered off the Ohio shoreline. Officials say they recovered the bodies of two females Thursday.More >>
  • Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Police stepped up patrols near the Boston Marathon finish line after a masked man walked in the street with a rice cooker in his backpack only hours after the city marked the anniversary of last year's deadly...More >>
    The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week.More >>
  • Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:34:39 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms