NACo releases new Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy Advocacy Toolkit

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Key Takeaways

The National Association of Counties (NACo) released a new toolkit to educate county leaders and enhance advocacy around the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP). The MIEP Advocacy Toolkit includes resources designed to assist county officials in educating our federal partners and the public on the importance of providing access to federal health benefits for those awaiting trial and verdict decisions. Included in the MIEP Advocacy Toolkit are template letters to members of Congress, sample op-eds and letters to the editor to submit to local newspapers, talking points and social media posts to further engage with federal policymakers.

NACo is urgently requesting Congress to amend the MIEP, which is a harmful policy that strips pre-trial detainees in local jails of federal health benefits such as Medicaid, Medicare or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). These individuals, who are pending disposition, are still presumed innocent under the United States Constitution.

MIEP causes disruptions in primary and behavioral health care access, contributing to worse health outcomes, higher healthcare costs and jail recidivism. Right now, Congress has the opportunity to advance legislation that would improve care coordination for individuals with mental health, substance use or other chronic health conditions by allowing continued access to federal benefits to pre-trial detainees.

CALL TO ACTION

As NACo continues to advocate for the inclusion of legislation that amends the MIEP in a bipartisan behavioral health legislative package at the end of this year, county leaders can help ensure the passage of this important policy by engaging in these advocacy efforts and sharing their stories of the negative health and economic impact MIEP has on our communities.

Access NACo’s MIEP Advocacy Toolkit and its resources here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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