Good Evening –
I bring good news.
One thing ASAM was not able to achieve – which had been on our legislative agenda – during our Addiction Medicine Advocacy Conference last year – was the passage of the Medicaid Reentry Act, which would have allowed for Medicaid coverage for eligible individuals – who were incarcerated – up to 30 days prior to their release.
Well, perhaps that’s because – in some ways – something better was on the horizon.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), approved a first-of-its-kind section 1115 demonstration amendment in California which will provide a set of critical pre-release services and improve access to critically needed care for people returning home from jails and prisons.
California will cover a set of pre-release Medicaid benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries and individuals who would be eligible for CHIP except for their incarceration status who are inmates in state prisons, county jails, and youth correctional facilities during the period up to 90 days immediately prior to the individual’s expected date of release (fewer days for people who are expected to be released from incarceration in fewer than 90 days) who meet site-specific health-related criteria.
Health-related criteria include but are not limited to: confirmed or suspected mental health diagnosis, SUD, chronic condition or significant non-chronic clinical condition, intellectual or developmental disability, traumatic brain injury, positive test or diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), or currently pregnant or within a 12-month postpartum period. Individuals incarcerated in a youth correctional facility who are eligible for Medicaid or who would be eligible for CHIP except for their incarceration status, who have been identified as expected to be released within 90 days, qualify to receive coverage of pre-release services without any requirement to meet specific clinical criteria.
Click here for the press release. Attached is the approval letter to California.
As noted in the attached letter, CMS plans to release forthcoming federal guidance that will encourage other states to implement strategies to facilitate successful transitions into the community for justice-involved individuals released from correctional settings, such as jails, prisons, and youth correctional facilities.
Kelly M. Corredor
Chief Advocacy Officer
American Society of Addiction Medicine
ASAM is working to transform America’s addiction
treatment infrastructure and expand access to care.