Federal Agencies Release New Resource to Connect People Returning to the Community to Health Care Services

The Office of Justice Programs and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health have joined together to release a new Coverage to Care (C2C) resource to support individuals upon release and re-entering the community to connect to health coverage and health services.

Click here to view: Returning to the Community: Health Care After Incarceration

This guide, Returning to the Community: Health Care After Incarceration, will assist individuals upon release and re-entering the community to better understand their health care needs, including physical and behavioral health, to learn key information, terms, people, and titles to help connect to health care services pre- and post-release, learn about insurance coverage types and how to apply, and tips to get started using health coverage to receive needed services to support a successful reentry and healthy life.

Based on community and peer feedback, OJP and CMS worked together to create this resource to help  fill a gap  and give people returning to the community information that can support their ability to advocate for needed services and coverage.  Many people returning to the community may not have health coverage right away or know how to obtain health coverage, and caring for physical or behavioral health needs may have been deferred.  While the immediate needs of  housing or employment will be a priority, it is still important to consider immediate health care needs, including prescriptions, care management, or behavioral health – needs that should not wait. Connecting people to health coverage and to services is essential. This resource is specifically tailored to consider the unique considerations, concerns, and needs of individuals that are incarcerated, soon to be released, or recently released.

Returning to the community can be overwhelming. OJP and CMS encourage family members, community partners, peer support services, and justice-related programs and other stakeholders to use this resource to help start conversations about and support individuals in seeking health care coverage, services, and how to get started. Coverage to Care (C2C) is a CMS initiative meant to assist consumers in understanding their health coverage and using it to receive needed health care services.

Returning to the Community: Health Care After Incarceration is currently available in English and Spanish. Additional languages will be made available. This resource can be used alongside other Coverage to Care resources like the Roadmap to Better Care or the Roadmap to Behavioral Health.

To learn more about Coverage to Care, sign up for our listserv, visit https://go.cms.gov/c2c or email CoveragetoCare@cms.hhs.gov.

To learn more about the Office of Justice Programs, sign up for our listserv, visit https://www.ojp.gov/subscribe.