Bipartisan legislation introduced in House and Senate to address Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy

Image of GettyImages-1409304410.jpg

Key Takeaways

Two bipartisan bills have recently been reintroduced in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to address the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP). In March, the Due Process Continuity of Care Act (H.R.3074/S.971) was introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) followed by the introduction in the House earlier this month by Reps. David Trone (D-Md.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Mike Turner (R-Ohio), John Rutherford (R-Fla.) and 12 other bipartisan lawmakers. The Reentry Act (H.R.2400/S.1165) was also reintroduced this past March by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) as well as in the House by Reps. David Trone (D-Md.), Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.), Mike Turner (R-Ohio), John Rutherford (R-Fla.) and nine other bipartisan members.

These bills amend the MIEP, a federal statute that revokes access to federal health benefits upon arrest, by ensuring continuity of care through improved access to critical health services for individuals as they enter and exit the justice system. An overview of each bill can be found below:

  • The Due Process Continuity of Care Act (H.R.3074/S.971) would allow pretrial detainees to receive Medicaid benefits at the option of the state and provide $50 million in planning grant dollars to states and localities for implementing the MIEP repeal, improving the quality of care provided in jails and enhancing the number of available providers to treat this population.
  • The Reentry Act (H.R.2400/S.1165) would allow Medicaid payment for medical services furnished to an eligible incarcerated individual during the 30-day period preceding the individual’s release.

Recent federal action has reinforced the importance of continuing care coordination for incarcerated individuals with behavioral health conditions as the Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill included a provision to give states the option to continue Medicaid coverage for juveniles in pre-trial status. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), recently approved a first-of-its-kind Medicaid section 1115 demonstration amendment in California, which will connect those incarcerated in jails and prisons with community-based Medicaid providers 90 days before their release to ensure continuity of care upon return to the community. Currently, 14 states have pending section 1115 waivers to amend the MIEP for reentry.  

NACo strongly endorses both bills as a critical step in addressing our nation’s mental health crisis, through better access to care. On April 26, NACo sent a joint letter with the National Sheriffs’ Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriffs of America to Congressional leadership urging Congress to pass both bipartisan bills to greatly improve care coordination in local jails and make it easier for counties to provide effective behavioral health treatment and services necessary for smooth transitions to community care, lower recidivism rates and a reduced risk of overdose post-release. Counties and local law enforcement stand ready to work with Congress to implement these important pieces of legislation.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Related News

Podcast
County News

Podcast: Mental health and the criminal justice system

Miami-Dade County, Fla. Administrative Judge Steve Leifman joined the County News Podcast to outline systems that can be put in place in counties across the country.

sublette
News

Medical transport benefit lifts rural county recruiting efforts

A new benefit has helped Sublette County, Wyo. recruit employees, and particulalrly volunteer firefighters, to work for county, which is at least an hour from a hospital. 

Doctor with tablet and patient
Advocacy

NACo comments on proposed HRSA reentry care guidelines

On April 10, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) published a draft Policy Information Notice, which proposed critical guidance to improve health outcomes for justice-involved individuals reentering their communities.

Hospital beds
Advocacy

Congress reintroduces the Michelle Alyssa Go Act, a critical step for county behavioral health systems

On May 28, the Michelle Alyssa Go Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation aims to increase the number of federal Medicaid-eligible in-patient psychiatric beds from 16 to 36, providing critical support for individuals seeking treatment for mental health and substance use disorders.

birdflu
County News

Bird flu: What county leaders should know

As of June 4, there have been three confirmed cases in dairy workers who contracted the virus, but no person-to-person spread has been detected.

THE_County Countdown_working_image-4.png
Advocacy

County Countdown – June 3, 2024

Every other week, NACo’s County Countdown reviews top federal policy advocacy items with an eye towards counties and the intergovernmental partnership.

Upcoming Events

re
Webinar

Transitions of Care in Mental Health

In this presentation, we will: define a successful transition of care for adults with schizophrenia, review barriers to a successful transition, highlight specific examples of successful transitional care programs, explore how a multidisciplinary/collaborative approach can support successful transitions, and identify actionable strategies for potential implementation.

finb
Webinar

Promising Practices for Collaboration on State and Local Opioid Settlement Spending

This webinar is a partnership between NASHP and the National Association of Counties.

 

GettyImages-1396806922
Webinar

Building a Behavioral Health Continuum of Care: The Role of Rural Leaders and Behavioral Health Directors

This webinar is hosted by the National Association of Counties (NACo) in partnership with the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Development Disability Directors (NACBHDD).

op
Webinar

Prevention to Treatment: Substance Use Disorder Solution Strategies

Our discussion will cover what's available, what's currently working, differences in approach, and potential strategies for various populations including the underserved population.