ACA Mapping Initiative - NIC Resources
Anyone dealing with the provision of services to justice-involved youth should read this publication. “This report outlines federal and state eligibility, enroll¬ment, and outreach strategies that can help facilitate seamless coverage for system-involved youth. Adoption of these initiatives has the potential to improve the lives of juvenile justice-involved youth and their families, increase their ability to remain in the community, and ultimately, reduce recidivism. Key to the success of these strategies will be ongoing collaboration between the multiple state and federal agencies that interact with the juvenile justice population” (p. 7). Sections of this publication discuss: Medicaid eligibility options to ease community reentry—suspending eligibility, continuous eligibility, presumptive eligibility, and special enrollment procedures (Oregon, Colorado, and Texas); implications of health reform for juvenile justice-involved youth—eligibility and enrollment policies; emerging issues—transitions in coverage between Medicaid, CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) and exchanges; and evidence based practices for meeting the needs of juvenile justice-involved youth.
Research shows that there are a disproportionate number of justice involved individuals suffering from chronic illness and/ or mental health and substance abuse disorders. We also know that a majority of the justice-involved individuals are young adults and unemployed or earn an income that is well below the federal poverty line leaving them without the ability to obtain health care. There is now an opportunity to enhance collaboration between the criminal justice/corrections and healthcare systems. Early estimates indicate a significant number of justice-involved individuals may be eligible for provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), specifically; enrollment in Medicaid or the ability to purchase health care coverage through state health insurance exchanges. Because of the many health care expansion possibilities for this population we are witnessing an unprecedented opportunity to help connect the justice population to healthcare coverage and the associated healthcare services.
Federal, state and local criminal justice systems are poised to change the way they do business with the advent of the ACA. It is now possible for millions of low income, justice- involved individuals to obtain healthcare or insurance coverage for their physical and behavioral health needs. This far reaching system change will impact every decision point in the criminal justice system from arrest to individuals returning to the community upon release.
Presented on June 18, 2014, this program informed and increased awareness around this historic healthcare expansion opportunity. The broadcast highlighted promising practices by providing resources and strategies to expand healthcare coverage to justice-involved individuals. During this national discussion and broadcast by the National Institute of Corrections, presenters:
- Established the relevance of the Affordable Care Act to the criminal justice system.
- Provided concrete examples for collaboration and system linkages between the criminal justice system and healthcare system.
- Provided healthcare enrollment strategies to increase informed decision-making between criminal justice and healthcare stakeholders.
"By working together to build a visual portrait of how individuals progress through the criminal justice system, health and justice stakeholders gain better understanding of their respective policies and practices. In addition, mapping allows jurisdictions to consider decision points throughout the entire criminal justice system when exploring opportunities to enroll criminal justice-involved individuals in insurance coverage. This guide is for states and local jurisdictions interested in using system mapping to maximize opportunities for criminal justice and health care system integration and efficiency through the ACA " (p. 3). Sections comprising this document include: the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at a glance; the need for a systems mapping process; the NIC Sample Decision Points Map; and the seven steps of the criminal justice/ACA mapping process. "General health and behavioral health issues with criminal justice-involved individuals intersect. Hence, it is critical that the needs of the population are considered as jurisdictions develop policies and processes to implement the ACA at state and local levels. Bringing together stakeholders from criminal justice, health care, and behavioral health care systems for dialogue around these issues builds increased understanding and collaboration across systems. Using the ACA to do a better job of delivering health care and behavioral health care services to this population not only improves the health of our communities, but makes them safer" (p. 11). Appendixes provide: Sample Intercept Map for ACA Eligibility/Enrollment Priorities; Completed Intercept Map for ACA Eligibility/Enrollment Priorities in Connecticut; and Action Plan Template.
For addtional information on this topic contact NIC Correctional Program Specialist Katie Green.
“This brief outlines opportunities for states and local jurisdictions to improve public health and safety outcomes, and reduce spending on corrections and health care services by maximizing the appropriate use of Medicaid coverage for people involved with the criminal justice system.” Sections discuss: federal Medicaid rules on coverage of criminal justice populations; what Medicaid entails; allowable uses of Medicaid for incarcerated persons; understanding Medicaid enrollment, suspension, and termination; the ACA’s (Affordable Care Act’s) Medicaid expansion—opportunities to increase health coverage for individuals involved with the criminal justice system; opportunities to maximize Medicaid enrollment; state approaches to utilizing Medicaid for justice-involved individuals—North Carolina, New York, and Colorado; special benefits considerations for the Medicaid expansion population; and four opportunities and recommendations for state policymakers. On-site use only