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Am J Public Health. 2013 Dec;103 Suppl 2:e25-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301497. Epub 2013 Oct 22.

Achieving public health goals through Medicaid expansion: opportunities in criminal justice, homelessness, and behavioral health with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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Barbara DiPietro is with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Nashville, TN, and Health Care for the Homeless of Maryland, Baltimore. At the time of the study, Lisa Klingenmaier was with Health Care for the Homeless of Maryland.


States are currently discussing how (or whether) to implement the Medicaid expansion to nondisabled adults earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level, a key aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Those experiencing homelessness and those involved with the criminal justice system--particularly when they struggle with behavioral health diagnoses--are subpopulations that are currently uninsured at high rates and have significant health care needs but will become Medicaid eligible starting in 2014. We outline the connection between these groups, assert outcomes possible from greater collaboration between multiple systems, provide a summary of Medicaid eligibility and its ramifications for individuals in the criminal justice system, and explore opportunities to improve overall public health through Medicaid outreach, enrollment, and engagement in needed health care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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