New York governor: Give Medicaid to inmates before release

AP News
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Posted: Apr 29, 2016 12:37 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's governor is seeking federal approval to extend Medicaid coverage to inmates who face serious health challenges immediately before they're released from prison.

Andrew Cuomo's office announced Friday that the state is the first in the nation to make such a request.

The Democratic governor says that too many inmates leave prison with serious mental health and addiction challenges and that helping them get the care they need improves their chances of successfully re-entering society.

The proposal would enroll inmates with significant health problems in Medicaid 30 days before their release and ensure they have health coverage as they return to their homes.

The state expects the change will ultimately save money by helping ex-offenders get treatment early, before they're forced to go to an emergency room.