Medicaid Coverage Opportunities for Justice-Involved Populations: CMS Guidance and States’ Approaches

Individuals leaving incarceration have disproportionately higher rates of physical and behavioral health diagnoses and are at higher risk for injury and death compared with people who have not been incarcerated. Race disparities in incarceration further exacerbate health inequities for people of color upon release. Across the country, people of color are more likely to be incarcerated due to the criminalization of substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health issues and the systemic inequities in the criminal justice system. Justice-involved individuals often will be released into the community with no connections to community-based providers and limited information on Medicaid services, further worsening negative health outcomes for this population.

Until now, due to a provision of federal Medicaid law known as the “inmate exclusion,” inpatient hospital care was the only service that could be covered by Medicaid for individuals considered inmates. Recent approval of an innovative Section 1115 demonstration in California—along with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) guidance on how states can design Section 1115 demonstrations to provide a targeted set of Medicaid services to justice-involved individuals prior to release in order to support their reentry into the community—has provided a blueprint for states to create their own 1115 demonstrations.

In a new webinar, Manatt Health will share an overview of the federal guidance and other states’ approaches to pursuing and obtaining approval for a Justice-Involved Reentry Initiative 1115 Demonstration to provide critical services to support reentry. Key topics that will be covered include:

  • Eligible populations and facilities
  • Mandatory and optional reentry services
  • Medicaid eligibility and enrollment considerations
  • Implementation planning and reinvestment requirements


Kinda Serafi, Partner, Manatt Health
Virginia Morgan, Manager, Manatt Health

Date and Time:

Thursday, July 13
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

If you would like to receive an audio transcript of this webinar due to accessibility issues, please email us at

This program does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Views expressed by presenters are strictly their own and should not be construed to be the views of Manatt or attributed to Manatt.



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