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Am J Public Health. 2005 Oct;95(10):1707-11. Epub 2005 Aug 30.

Medicaid insurance policy for youths involved in the criminal justice system.

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Department of Health Policy & Management, Columbia University, 600 W 168th St, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Juvenile justice and Medicaid agencies share an interest in serving delinquent youths, many of whom have a relatively poor health status. However, many state and local Medicaid policies result in these youths having no insurance coverage, making access to needed services difficult. A nationally representative survey of state and community juvenile justice and Medicaid agencies was conducted to assess Medicaid policies. Evidence from the survey suggests that in some areas delinquent youths are actively disenrolled from Medicaid benefits, and in others little effort is made to connect them to Medicaid coverage. Discrepancies between justice agency and Medicaid agency responses point to poor communication and coordination. Overall, the survey identified several opportunities for policy intervention to enhance access to services for justice-involved youths.

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