U.S. plans to allow Medicaid for drug treatment in prisons


CAMDEN, N.J. — The federal government is planning to allow states to use Medicaid funds to provide drugs to combat addiction and other medical services for people at state jails and prisons in an effort to help some of those most at risk of dying in the nation’s overdose epidemic.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, announced Tuesday that states would be encouraged to submit proposals for how to use money from the joint federal-state low-income health insurance program for incarcerated people. Those that do would be required to provide mental health and drug treatment and would have the option to add some other services.

Speaking during a visit to New Jersey’s Camden County Jail, Gupta said the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will release its full guidance this spring.

Advocates have long called for such a move and the government last month announced that California was being given approval to use Medicaid for some services for incarcerated people.



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