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Evaluating Early Access to Medicaid as a Reentry Strategy

A new study, supported by the National Institute of Corrections and conducted by the Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center, will assess whether currently available Medicaid coverage helps newly released inmates access health care, resulting in improved employment and recidivism outcomes. Data collection activities are planned for 2012-2013, and study findings on Medicaid impacts will be available in 2014.

This research will provide enhanced Medicaid application assistance to a sample of prison and jail inmates during incarceration so that coverage will be activated upon release. Researchers will then track these former inmates' experiences for 1 year after release to document health care, employment, and recidivism outcomes and compare these results with those of a control group that receives standard pre-release preparation.

 The study will be conducted in one state where current Medicaid practices allow for the enrollment of newly released inmates, who are typically low-income individuals without dependent children. Within this state, the research team will choose one prison and one jail for the study.

The research team will work with correctional and Medicaid authorities to design a process for assisting soon-to-be released inmates to complete Medicaid applications. The study will provide this enhanced application assistance to soon-to-be released inmates in the chosen prison and jail sites for 3 months in 2012. Inmates whose release dates fall outside of the study period will form the study's comparison group.

For more information, please contact Project Director Kamala Mallik-Kane, KKane@urban.org, (202) 261-5857 and refer to National Institute of Corrections Award #11AD10GK10.

 




Posted Fri, Mar 2 2012 11:09 AM by Tracey Vessels

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