In 2013, the Medicaid program financed health care services for more than 72 million individuals, and an additional 7 million beneficiaries are expected to enroll in 2014 as a result of states choosing to expand Medicaid eligibility as allowed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Most of these newly eligible individuals will be low-income adults, a population that may include individuals who are inmates in state prisons and local jails. In the 27 states that opted to expand Medicaid eligibility as allowed under PPACA, the majority of inmates are likely to have incomes that would qualify them for Medicaid—a circumstance that did not generally exist before 2014, since Medicaid eligibility for adults has generally been limited to certain categories of low-income individuals, such as pregnant women and individuals who are aged or disabled.
GAO was asked to examine information on enrollment and federal Medicaid costs for inmates. This study provides information on the proportion of inmates eligible for Medicaid and state efforts to enroll inmates in Medicaid and obtain federal matching funds for allowable services.Read the full report