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What the Affordable Care Act Means for People with Jail Stays

NCJ Number
Health Affairs Volume: 33 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2014 Pages: 448-454
Marsha Regenstein; Sara Rosenbaum
Date Published
March 2014
7 pages
This article discusses the benefits for jail-involved individuals as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
As current research indicates, a significant number of individuals who have spent time in jails frequently cycle in and out of incarceration; have high rates of chronic physical, mental health, and substance use conditions; and are not covered by health insurance and have little access to health care services. This article discusses the benefits that this population could receive from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These benefits include mitigating the potential for a jail stay to disrupt health care coverage, making enrollment opportunities easier for the jail-involved population, and improved coverage for providing treatment for inmates with mental health and substance use disorders. The article notes that strategies will need to be developed to deal with the myriad set of policies that apply to publicly-financed health care coverage for adults. The article also notes that provisions in the ACA for implementation of management and information systems such as electronic health records, case management, and tracking systems can improve the overall management of inmates' care and provide them with the opportunity to have continued access to health care. 38 notes