prison health care

Topics: Health care, Health insurance, Massachusetts Pages: 2 (533 words) Published: February 9, 2014
And an older population means more expensive health care. In Michigan, a state study found that in a single year (2009) health care for inmates ages 55 to 59 cost more than four times more than for those aged 20 to 24. In Georgia, caring for prisoners ages 65 or older costs about $8,565 per inmate each year. The average annual health-care cost for Georgian prisoners under 65? $961 per inmate. So, what’s a state to do? According to experts interviewed by Pew, states are trying to rein in costs by providing remote health care, outsourcing it altogether, enrolling prisoners in Medicaid and paroling elderly or sick inmates. Mississippi’s three-year-old program to enroll prisoners in Medicaid generates about $6 million annually in federal reimbursements. Louisiana saved $2.6 million over fiscal years 2009 and 2010 through federal Medicaid reimbursements. And New York’s comptroller estimates that the state could save up to $20 million annually through such reimbursements. Under the new federal health-care law, eligibility for Medicaid will be expanded in 25 states, meaning more inmates will be able to qualify, offsetting state prison health-care costs. Releasing low-risk older prisoners could help drive down costs and prison size, too. Ohio expects to save more than $46 million and slash the prison population by 7 percent over three years by granting parole to more of its elderly prison population. New York, Illinois, California and Connecticut have also pursued similar policies for low-risk elderly and/or sick inmates.And an older population means more expensive health care. In Michigan, a state study found that in a single year (2009) health care for inmates ages 55 to 59 cost more than four times more than for those aged 20 to 24. In Georgia, caring for prisoners ages 65 or older costs about $8,565 per inmate each year. The average annual health-care cost for Georgian prisoners under 65? $961 per inmate. So, what’s a state to do? According to experts interviewed by...
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