Ensuring Access to Health Care for Criminal Justice Populations under the Affordable Care Act

 

Summary: The Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP), Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC), and Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC) submit this proposal jointly to support our collaborative effort to expand access to healthcare and behavioral health services for people involved in the criminal justice system. CCLP, CCJRC and CBHC are leading the charge on this important effort to fully seize the opportunity of the Affordable Care Act for criminal justice populations. Our organizations are uniquely qualified to engage the criminal justice, physical and behavioral health care systems and criminal justice populations in this new and critically important conversation. We are seeking funding to 1) facilitate and promote collaboration between criminal justice, healthcare, and behavioral health providers at the state and local levels to get criminal justice populations enrolled in health coverage; and 2) develop and provide education and outreach materials for criminal justice, healthcare, behavioral health and community service providers on Medicaid, the ACA and the health needs of criminal justice populations.

Issue: People involved in the criminal justice system have substantially higher rates of health conditions including HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other chronic diseases compared to the general public. People involved in the criminal justice system are largely uninsured and typically access healthcare and behavioral health services through emergency rooms, prisons and jails.

CJ Infographic 
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Opportunity: The decision to form this stakeholder group came from a realization that without significant cross-system information sharing, training, collaboration and coordination, people involved in the criminal justice system would likely be left-out of ACA implementation, even if they were eligible.

Target populationsThe target populations for this work are people involved in the criminal justice system and professionals working in the criminal justice, health care and behavioral health systems, and community nonprofits and advocates.

 

Visit our blog to learn more about the substantial health needs of criminal justice populations.