A new federal policy will allow 96,000 inmates in halfway houses after release from prison to be eligible for Medicaid benefits, according to USA Today. The policy will allow the former inmates access to treatment for addiction and mental health issues in states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Federal officials said the policy clarifies that people on probation, parole or under home confinement are not considered incarcerated for the purposes of Medicaid coverage. Most people in the criminal justice system are not insured. About half of those who are incarcerated have mental health and substance use disorders, the article notes.
Currently 30 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Louisiana, which has the highest rate of incarceration in the nation, will be the next state to expand Medicaid.