NewsHealth / May 16, 2016

Indiana Department Of Correction Enrolls 12K Released Offenders In HIP 2.0, Medicaid

The Indiana Department of Correction reached what it calls a “milestone,” enrolling more than 12,000 released offenders in HIP 2.0 and Medicaid.  Officials say it’s a major component in reducing the state’s recidivism rate.

A state law that took effect last July required the Department of Correction to work with offenders about to be released to ensure they had healthcare coverage through HIP 2.0 or Medicaid.  Ten months later, more than 12,000 such offenders have signed up.  Only about 500 inmates released in that time weren’t enrolled. Department officials say those were non-residents, offenders who transfer to local jails, or those who previously had Medicaid coverage. 

Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council Executive Director David Powell says health care can have an enormous impact on recidivism. He says ensuring coverage is particularly impactful when providing access to mental health care and addiction treatment.

“We know, I mean the data just shows it, that crime is driven by substance abuse and drugs, primarily,” Powell says.

The Department of Correction reports that since last July, nearly $4 million in Medicaid claims have been paid out.  If those patients had been uninsured, the cost would have been borne by either the patients themselves or healthcare providers.

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