Landing time in an Ohio prison could also soon get you help enrolling into health care coverage under Obamacare, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Ohio is among a small but growing number of states working to enroll prisoners in Medicaid when they get sick and as they are being released. The move could save the state nearly $18 million this year alone in costs of providing health care to prisoners – money that would be shifted onto the federal government's tab.
Longer term, prison and health care officials say it could help curb the number of repeat offenders as more ex-prisoners gain access to needed mental health services and substance abuse programs, benefits now required to be covered under the health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “It is a huge benefit for the state and for the individuals because they'll have a continuum of care and we can link them with the benefits they need,” said Stuart Hudson, managing director of health care for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Similar efforts are underway in Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota and Oregon, said Maeghan Gilmore of the National Association of Counties.