Medicaid Expansion helps Inmates avoid Revolving Door

Meet Tony, who’s been booked into King County Jail more than twenty times. He has Hepatitis C, an enlarged liver, and a long history of alcoholism. He’s getting treated while in jail, but what happens when he gets out?

The link between jail-time and medical needs — and how the Affordable Care Act can change the equation — is the focus of Ruby de Luna’s new report for KUOW.

The revolving door for jail prisoners — who come back multiple times — often has a link to inaccessible medications or untreated drug and alcohol addictions. For many of them, jail is where they finally get the medical care they need.

Then, when they’re set free, their physical and psychological health declines again, contributing to how they fall back into criminal habits.

The Affordable Care Act offers a tool to address inmates’ health concerns after they leave jail — through the expansion of Medicaid.

King County is involving caseworkers, release planners and insurance companies to provide inmates with health options as they get ready to transition back into society. Continue reading on Public Health’s Coverage is Here King County blog.