Supporting individuals in Washington upon release from incarceration

Nearly 7,800 people will be released from state prisons this year. What happens to them upon release depends largely on whether they can access the services they need to succeed in their community.

Gov. Jay Inslee took on this issue in 2015 when he signed Executive Order 16-05, “Building Safe and Strong Communities through Successful Re-entry.” The order directed state agencies—including the Health Care Authority—to develop re-entry programs for released individuals.

Inslee’s office this week released its first annual report that highlights work state agencies have done to better support incarcerated individuals upon their release. For HCA, we have been working to help ensure that individuals are able to access Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) health care coverage as soon as they are released. This will help ensure they are able to get the treatments and medications they need to stay healthy.

Starting in July, most individuals—including juveniles—who are incarcerated will be able to have Apple Health coverage suspended rather than terminated while they’re in custody. Currently, we end coverage while an individual is incarcerated. Then he or she must submit a new application for Apple Health coverage upon release.

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