Community Development, Homelessness, Supportive Housing

ACA Beneficial to Health Care Providers and Criminal Justice Community

National Health Care for the Homeless Council

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) recently released a policy brief Medicaid Expansion & Criminal Justice-Involved Populations: Opportunities for the Health Care for the Homeless Community. This brief highlights the potential for partnerships between the criminal justice community and the homeless health care (HCH) community that the Affordable Care Act made possible through the option it gives states to expand Medicaid eligibility to most people earning at or below 138% of the federal poverty level.

90% of individuals who are in local and county jails and detention centers are uninsured and many individuals who are or have been incarcerated were homeless at some point prior to incarceration. The ACA has a provision to expand Medicaid to low income childless adults, making it possible for many individuals who have had criminal justice involvement to access a wide range of health care services as well as making it easier to enroll in Medicaid.

The HCH community and criminal justice administrators would both benefit by working together to make sure that this vulnerable population enrolls in Medicaid because the increased availability and access to health care services can improve health, stabilize behavior and reduce the risk of recidivism in addition to creating better connection to community care, which would help individuals maintain stability after release.

Click here to read the full report.  


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