Returning citizens have a high rate of being uninsured in addition to having unmet social needs prior to release from custody. Data provided by a recent study in Maryland indicates that the top social needs and risks upon soon to be released inmates are employment, inadequate or unstable housing, food insecurity, lack of health insurance, education, and lack of transportation. HealthCare Access Maryland’s (HCAM) Returning Citizens HealthLink program currently addresses one of the social determinants of health needs (health insurance) and provides information and referrals for other programs as needed.
Our Returning Citizens HealthLink program is made up of a team of 17 Certified Application Counselors (CACs) who are embedded statewide throughout multiple Maryland State prisons and the Baltimore City Jail, providing face to face Medicaid enrollment with soon to be released returning citizens.
HCAM CACs are trained and certified by the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, work for Application Counselor Sponsoring Entities (ACSEs), provide in-person assistance with determining eligibility for insurance affordability programs, including Medicaid, on Maryland Health Connection, and aid with enrollment for soon to be released returning citizens into Qualified Health Plans and Qualified Dental Plans.
Primary Goal of program: Enroll all eligible, soon to be released, returning citizens in Medicaid prior to release so they have access to important services upon release.
Secondary Goal of program: To provide community resources and referrals for unmet social needs as clients are being released back to the community.