Medicaid expansion for low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers the potential to connect many former jail inmates — the “jail-involved” — to health insurance coverage for the first time. Compared to the general population, these individuals have very high rates of both mental health and substance abuse disorders. Access to much-needed health and mental health services as they leave jail could improve health and reduce recidivism.
This fact sheet provides a demographic profile of former inmates in the United States and details opportunities to enroll this population into health care coverage. See also a Health Affairs article by CHCS staff and Rhode Island partners: Medicaid Expansion: Considerations for States Regarding Newly Eligible Jail-Involved Individuals.