CSG Justice CenterCSG Justice Center

State Strategies for Establishing Connections to Health Care for Justice-Involved Populations: The Central Role of Medicaid

The Commonwealth Fund logoWith many states expanding Medicaid eligibility, people leaving jail or prison are now often able to enroll in health coverage upon release. It is increasingly clear, however, that coverage alone is insufficient to address the often complex health and social needs of people who cycle between costly hospital and jail stays.

The goal of this issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund is to identify emerging trends in state Medicaid programs, including data exchange to ensure providers are notified when someone is leaving jail or prison; “in-reach” to help establish relationships between people leaving incarceration and primary care providers prior to release; strategies for addressing housing issues and other social determinants of health; and use of peer-support specialists who have experiences with incarceration.