ASAM Praises First-of-Its Kind Policy to Provide Medicaid Coverage to Beneficiaries While Incarcerated
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2023
California’s new policy, approved yesterday by HHS, through CMS, is critical to helping people with addiction transition successfully back into their community after incarceration
Rockville, MD – The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) today applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), for creating a pathway for eligible people in state prisons, county jails, and youth correctional facilities to receive Medicaid or CHIP benefits for certain health conditions—including substance use disorder (SUD). This is a critical first step to ensuring that people living with addiction are able to receive the continued evidence-based treatment they need as they transition back into their communities.
Specifically, HHS and CMS approved a first-of-its-kind section 1115 demonstration amendment in California. ASAM hopes future contemplated CMS guidance will encourage more states to advance similar policies to help treat addiction and save lives. Under the waiver approved yesterday, California can cover a set of Medicaid benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries and individuals who would be eligible for CHIP if they were not inmates in state prisons, county jails, and youth correctional facilities during the period up to 90 days immediately prior to the individual’s expected date of release who meet certain health-related criteria—including SUD. Eligible individuals incarcerated in a youth correctional facility can qualify to receive coverage of pre-release services without any requirement to meet certain health-related criteria.
Providing healthcare coverage and addiction treatment services prior to a person’s return to the community is critical. Research shows that individuals returning to the community after being incarcerated are roughly 129 times more likely to die from an overdose compared to the general population.
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About the American Society of Addiction MedicineThe American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), founded in 1954, is a professional medical society representing over 7,000 physicians, clinicians, and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. For more information, visit www.ASAM.org.