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Am J Public Health. 2014 Mar;104(3):418-20. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301563. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

Medicaid policies and practices in US state prison systems.

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At the time of this study, David L. Rosen was with the Center for Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dora M. Dumont and Bradley W. Brockmann were with the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI. Andrew M. Cislo was with the Center for Public Health and Health Policy, University of Connecticut, East Hartford. Amy Traver was with the Human Biology Program, Brown University, Providence, RI. Josiah D. Rich was with the Division of Infectious Diseases, Brown University, and the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, Miriam Hospital.


Medicaid is an important source of health care coverage for prison-involved populations. From 2011 to 2012, we surveyed state prison system (SPS) policies affecting Medicaid enrollment during incarceration and upon release; 42 of 50 SPSs participated. Upon incarceration, Medicaid benefits were suspended in 9 (21.4%) SPSs and terminated in 28 (66.7%); 27 (64.3%) SPSs screened prisoners for potential Medicaid eligibility. Although many states supported Medicaid enrollment upon release, several did not. We have considered implications for Medicaid expansion.

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