What RSAT programs should be telling soon-to-be released
inmates about Medicaid and health insurance.
RSAT programs can assist inmates with health coverage with a few simple steps:
1. Medicaid eligibility for inmates:
Before inmates are released, program staff can alert inmates that qualify for Medicaid which covers medical care, alcohol and drug treatment, mental health services and preventive care at little or no cost.
This means that single adults without children may be eligible for Medicaid benefits in your state. You can find out if your state is a Medicaid Expansion state by following the link: http://kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/state-activity-around-expanding-medicaid-under-the-affordable-care-act/
This link takes you to contact information for all state Medicaid agencies: http://www.healthguideusa.org/state_medicaid_agencies.htm
You should assist inmates to file enrollment forms as soon as they are within 3 months of release. After release, they can enroll at any time. There are no special enrollment periods for Medicaid enrollment. To find out Medicaid’s mandated benefits, visit: Medicaid Benefits
2. Inmates who need health insurance, but will have an income after release.
Inmates who will be employed upon release, but do not have insurance through their employer, can shop for coverage on state health insurance exchanges. Many will qualify for subsidies that will allow them to afford health insurance. To determine the amount of subsidies each may be eligible for, visit: The subsidy calculator
RSAT programs can help them navigate state insurance exchange websites and locate an affordable plan. The following link will take you to each state’s healthcare marketplace: https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/b/welcome/
NOTE: Although plans available through state health insurance exchanges usually only allow new members to join during set enrollment periods each year, those released from jail or prison do not have to wait. But they must enroll within 60 days of release from custody.
If inmates have not yet reached their 27th birthday, they are covered under their parents’ plans, even if they are not returning to live with them.
Also, members of federally-recognized Tribes and Alaska Native shareholders can enroll any time of year. Visit the Tribal Health Reform Resource Information Center for more information on the ACA and tribal facilities.
Helping released inmates avoid Federal fines for failure to enroll: