Pass the Medicaid Reentry Act

Parity, Coverage, & Equitable Access
social determinants of health
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Legal System-Involved Individuals
Coverage & Standards
Federal department
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house committees
House Energy and Commerce Committee
senate committees
Senate Finance Committee


Congress should pass the bipartisan Medicaid Reentry Act to connect Medicaid-eligible individuals with access to mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) treatment and resources 30 days prior to release from jail or prison.[1][2][3][5][8][9] In addition, Medicaid services should be maintained for incarcerated individuals who are not adjudicated or convicted of a crime by passing the Due Process Continuity of Care Act.[2][6][7][10][11]


Incarcerated individuals have higher rates of MH/SUD than the general public, and during the first two weeks after release, they are at 129 times higher risk of dying from a drug overdose.[1] Due to the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy, coverage is not continued during incarceration, leaving a gap in coverage and access to care.[3] This exclusion also means that incarcerated individuals who are not adjudicated or convicted of a crime lose access to their coverage.[2][4] Members of Congress have sponsored legislation to ensure that incarcerated individuals under the age of 18 have access to Medicaid coverage.[7] Maintaining Medicaid eligibility for individuals who are not adjudicated or convicted of a crime and allowing coverage 30 days pre-release are essential steps towards decriminalizing MH/SUD.[5] The Medicaid Reentry Act extends Medicaid eligibility to 30 days prior to release. and the Due Process Continuity of Care Act continues Medicaid coverage for individuals not adjudicated or convicted of a crime, the passage of both would improve continuity of care, assist with successful reentry, and save lives.[8][9][10][11]


1. Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Senators Baldwin, Braun Introduce Bipartisan Reentry Act to Help Reduce Drug Overdoses. 2023. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. Last Accessed March 30, 2023.

2. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Consensus Workgroup Policy Recommendations to the 116th Congress and Trump Administration on Behavioral Health Issues in the Criminal Justice System: Next Steps. Last Accessed 2019.

3. CEO Alliance for Mental Health. A Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care. Last Accessed August 2022.

4. U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. Bipartisan Mental Health Care Provisions. (Press Release). Last Accessed June 15, 2022.

5. The Kennedy Forum. Recommendations of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Last Accessed October 2017.

6. Rep. Mike Turner. Turner, Trone, Rutherford, Tonko Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation: The Due Process Continuity of Care Act. 2023. Congressman Mike Turner. Last Updated May 2, 2023.

7. Sen. Bill Cassidy. ​​Cassidy, Colleagues Reintroduce Bicameral Bill to Provide Medicaid Due Process for Americans Awaiting Trial. 2023. Senator Bill Cassidy. Last Accessed March 23, 2023.

8. Reentry Act of 2023, S. 1165 (Baldwin-Braun), 118th Congress (2023-2024). Last Accessed April 2023.

9. Reentry Act of 2023, H.R. 2400 (Tonko-Turner), 118th Congress (2023-2024). Last Accessed April 2023.

10. Due Process Continuity of Care Act, S.971 (Cassidy-Merkley), 118th Congress (2023-2024). Last Accessed March 2023.

11. Due Process Continuity of Care Act, H.R.3074, 118th Congress. (2023-2024). Last Accessed May 2023.