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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Pretrial System: A "Front Door" to Health and Safety

Accession Number: 028258
Media Type: 
Document

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides an historic opportunity for millions of low-income individuals to obtain insurance coverage for their physical and behavioral health care needs. For the last several years, diverse behavioral health advocates, health care providers and community-based prevention organizations, have worked to understand the implications of the ACA on the justice-involved population. Much of the conversation has been centered on the disproportionately high rates of physical and behavioral health care needs amongst this previously uninsured population … Access to treatment services through the ACA at pretrial decision points creates a notable opportunity to interrupt the cycle of crime exacerbated by chronic physical and behavioral health issues" (p. 1). This publication provides a general idea of what the ACA entails and explains how it can be used with pretrial detainees. Sections contained in this document include: an overview of the ACA; the major opportunities it can provide for pretrial justice; ACA as the front door to coverage; and a call to action for pretrial services—actively represent pretrial in collaborative planning efforts, develop a plan for screening and enrollment, and begin addressing larger policy questions.

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