Individuals who are released from prison face an alarmingly high risk of suicide or overdose in the weeks following their release. In fact, a policy brief from the Prison Policy Initiative noted that “during just the first two weeks after release from prison, people leaving custody face a risk of death more than 12 times higher than that of the general U.S. population, with disproportionately high rates of death from drug overdose and illness.” For these reasons, we strongly supported this legislation, which aimed to give these individuals access to Medicaid coverage promptly upon their release, guaranteeing that any mental health or substance use disorder treatments that they were receiving during their incarceration remain accessible to them without a break in treatment. This legislation passed the Senate but died in the House.
Medicaid Enrollment for Incarcerated Individuals (H 5313, S 873)
Representative Carol McEntee and Senator Valarie Lawson
Passed Senate, Died in House