On Monday, August 28th, Senator Cory Booker visited the Camden County Correctional Facility to announce new legislation that would increase access to mental health and substance use resources for incarcerated individuals. After the announcement, Senator Booker hosted a roundtable with several members of the incarcerated population enrolled in the facility’s substance use disorder program.
Currently, incarcerated individuals lose Medicaid coverage due to the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Provision. This creates significant issues not only for residents in correctional facilities who require medically assisted treatment for substance use disorder, but for facilities themselves as these medications are incredibly expensive and require constant streams of funding. However, the Rehabilitation and Recovery During Incarceration Act would accomplish the following:
- Create a state option for states to allow Medicaid and CHIP to cover mental health and substance use services for eligible inmates.
- Provide an FMAP increase to states who choose this option.
- Require states to reinvest additional funds in technology and data sharing between state Medicaid programs, jails and prisons, and community-based providers and organizations.
- Mandate a report from the Comptroller General on the impact of the coverage option.
“Medically assisted treatment is a critically important tool that we utilize at our jail and it’s a renowned program. In fact, the White House Drug Czar, called it a model for the rest of the country this past spring,” Commissioner Jeff Nash said. “This legislation will allow our facility as well as facilities statewide to continue helping their inmates access lifesaving and lifechanging medications. I commend Sen. Booker for prioritizing such an important issue.”