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Removing Barriers for Success

There are a number of barriers that need to be removed but the most significant one for those individuals who utilize Medicaid, is the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP).

What is MEIP? This is the current FEDERAL policy of terminating or suspending all federal health care coverage for those who are incarcerated for more than 24 hours. Irregardless of conviction status!

A comprehensive report on this is located here: NACo-NSA Joint Task Force Report: Addressing the Federal Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy.

The Social Security Act, Sec. 1905(a)(A) prohibits the use of federal funds and services, such as Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare and Medicaid, for medical care provided to “inmates of a public institution.” While this language was intended to prevent state governments from shifting the health care costs of convicted prison inmates to federal health and disability programs, it has an unintended impact on local jail detainees who are in a pre-trial status and have not been convicted of a crime.

There are many unintended consequences of this policy, but I believe it increases and impacts recidivism rates for Eau Claire County.

I support the change to amend the MEIP to allow pre-trial people (those who are NOT convicted of a crime) access to their eligible federal benefits.

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