Addiction treatment can be life-saving, but it is often inaccessible and unaffordable to those recently released from jail and prison.
Rates of substance use disorder are much higher among those in jails and prisons. Upon release, these individuals also face a significantly higher risk of death from overdose.
Despite the urgent need for treatment, individuals released from jails and prisons are often unable to afford or access care due to a lack of insurance coverage. Medicaid coverage generally stops when a beneficiary is incarcerated. Upon release, it can often take weeks or months to reenroll, leaving people without insurance and unable to access treatment.
Congress is currently considering the Medicaid Reentry Act (H.R. 955/S. 285), which would allow states to restart benefits for Medicaid-eligible individuals 30 days prior to release. The bill would make it easier for individuals to access affordable addiction treatment, allow for transitions to community-based services, and reduce the risk of overdose following release.