Joint Task Force Sets Focus on Medicaid Inmate Exclusion and Health Care in Jails

DoctorAddressing the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion was the top order of business at the Task Force’s October meeting.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) joint task force on inmate health care and recidivism recently met to discuss the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion and ways to advocate for change. This federal policy removes Medicaid health and veteran benefits from individuals as soon as they are admitted to jail — even if they are pre-trial and have not been convicted.

The joint task force includes representation from county leaders, law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, behavioral health and veterans’ services.

From NACo:

Task Force Co-Chair Arapahoe County, Colo. Commissioner Nancy Sharpe said the group is working to bring more awareness to the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy, educate federal partners and explore opportunities to advocate for legislative changes through data collection and a comprehensive report.

“This is not just to identify the issues, but really to focus on solutions,” she said. “I think most of us don’t want to be spending time going to more meetings without offering solutions.”

Renee Danser, associate director of research and strategic partnerships at Harvard Law’s Access to Justice Lab, facilitated the discussions which ranged from pre-trial populations in jails, health care services and expenses, recidivism rates and the type of community support provided by counties for justice-involved individuals before and after they are incarcerated.

For more information:

NACo, Sheriffs’ Association talk fix for health care in jails (NACo County News)

NACo-NSA Joint Task Force on Inmate Health Care and Redicivism

Inmate health care and the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy will be topics of discussion at the 2019 MACo Winter Conference session, “Inmate Healthcare: Sorting Fact from Fiction.”

The 2019 MACo Winter Conference, Building for the Future,” will be held on December 4-6, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: