Medicaid Expansion Could Cut Prison Costs

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan says it expects to save at least $19 million on health care next year by enrolling inmates and parolees in the state's expanded Medicaid program.

The Department of Corrections says one aim is to lower recidivism by offering treatment for mental illness, substance abuse and chronic health conditions.

The Detroit News reports (http://bit.ly/1vx76OK ) Michigan would save an estimated $16.8 million by shifting health costs to the federal government for in-patient stays at community hospitals for inmates. Under federal rules, Medicaid doesn't cover health care provided inside prison facilities.

The Department of Corrections, which has about 43,300 prisoners, also is working to enroll the state's 18,000 parolees in the expanded Medicaid program. That change is expected to save an additional $2.2 million in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.


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