Human Services Department Takes Smart New Approach to Healthcare for the Incarcerated

On Friday, Governor Martinez signed Senate Bill 42 into law. Under the new law, the NM Human Services Department (HSD) will no longer terminate Medicaid coverage for individuals who are incarcerated, suspending their enrollment instead. The law also calls for HSD to give incarcerated individuals who are not yet enrolled in Medicaid the opportunity to apply for coverage before they are released. These simple changes will make it much easier for people newly released from jail or prison to have immediate access to healthcare services upon re-entering the community. This can make a big difference to our state and to recently released individuals and their families. This law is a good step forward in increasing an individual’s likelihood of receiving the care and services they need, both in physical and behavioral health, and successfully re-entering the community.

For more information, please read the press release: Press-Release-NMCLP-SB-42-Medicaid-Suspension-for-Incarcerated-FINAL-2015-4-13

Urgent Action Needed on Legislation Important to Low-Income New Mexicans!

Governor Martinez MUST sign Senate Bill 42 by this FRIDAY, April 10th or it will not become law! Please call her office (505-476-2200) and ask her to sign Senate Bill 42!

The call will only take a minute but will have a tremendous impact for New Mexicans!

What is Senate Bill 42?

As you know access to healthcare coverage is a critical component of successful reentry to the community after incarceration.

Senate Bill 42 would require the Human Services Department to stop terminating an individual’s healthcare coverage when they become incarcerated. The bill would also allow unenrolled individuals to apply for Medicaid before release. By doing these two things, this bill is a first step in increasing an individual’s likelihood of successful reentry into the community.

This bill will help reduce recidivism and is likely to save substantial costs. Healthcare coverage is necessary for accessing mental health treatment and medical care. The experiences of other states has shown that people who are enrolled in Medicaid are less likely to be rearrested, and more likely to participate in behavioral health treatment and other health care services than individuals without Medicaid coverage.

Read more: Action-Alert-SB-42-NMCLP-Website-2015-3-31