SAMHSA Releases New Tools to Help Connect Individuals Involved with the Criminal Justice System to Health Coverage

9.13.13_SAMHSA toolkitWorking in collaboration with criminal justice stakeholders, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has released a new online, interactive toolkit Getting Ready for the Health Insurance Marketplace that describes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and provides resources to encourage uninsured individuals to apply for health coverage beginning on October 1, 2013.

The toolkit is composed of three sections. The first section gives a basic overview of ACA, how it works, and why it is important for uninsured individuals with behavioral health conditions. The second section explains how the Health Insurance Marketplace works, how to apply for health coverage, and where to get help. The third section contains numerous communication ideas and materials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that can be used to create awareness and motivate uninsured individuals to enroll.

Because as many as one-third of those newly eligible for coverage under ACA will have a history of involvement with the criminal justice system, criminal justice agencies can play a crucial role in connecting these individuals to coverage. Useful resources and materials can be downloaded directly from the toolkit. Among the communication resources provided in the toolkit are articles, brochures, fact sheets, presentations, videos, posters, cards, outreach messages, flyers, widgets, and social media resources. Many of the materials are available in multiple languages and customized for specific population segments, such as different ethnic or racial groups.

To learn more about the toolkit, click here.