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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Johns Hopkins: Inmates Getting Access to Medicaid Upon Release From Jail or Prison

With the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, an entire new population is eligible for government health care: low-income men.

And a new study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests that in a single year, just a small number of programs has helped more than 112,000 people exiting prison or jail – the vast majority of whom are men – get health care coverage for which they hadn’t qualified in the past.

The findings, published in the December issue of Health Affairs, suggest that if programs designed to ease the Medicaid enrollment process are expanded to more jurisdictions, many thousands more people who have served time may get access to health services that may not only improve their well-being but that research shows can reduce recidivism. Only 30 states and the District of Columbia have opted to expand Medicaid eligibility and most jurisdictions in those locations do not have programs designed to enroll people being released from jails and prisons.

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