Press Release Tonko Introduces Legislation to Prevent Overdose Deaths, Improve Care Transitions for Individuals Reentering Community
Recent research indicates that individuals who are released back into the community post-incarceration are roughly eight times more likely to die of an overdose in the first two weeks post-release compared to other times. The risk of overdose is elevated during this period due to reduced physiological tolerance for opioids among the incarcerated population, a lack of effective addiction treatment options while incarcerated and poor care transitions back into the community. Allowing states to restart Medicaid benefits prior to release will dovetail with innovative reentry programs already being implemented in communities across the country and would give individuals reentering society a fighting chance to live a healthier, drug-free life.
Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced H.R. 4005, the Medicaid Reentry Act, a bill that would provide states with the flexibility to restart Medicaid coverage for eligible incarcerated individuals up to 30 days prior to their release.